Jamaica and Brazil appear to be heading towards a trade row over the island’s ban on corned beef imported from that South American country as both sides yesterday took hard positions on the measure.

According to the Jamaica Observer, the Brazilian Embassy in Kingston asked the Jamaican Government to lift what it described as the “unilateral ban”, pointing out that none of the 21 meat-processing companies under investigation in Brazil for selling rotten beef and poultry export to Jamaica.

However, Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Karl Samuda insisted that the ban on the product, more popularly known as “bully beef” in Jamaica, will remain in place until relevant tests have been completed

A news release from Samuda’s ministry said that no permission will be given for the sale or distribution of corned beef from Brazil until the Government gets adequate assurance that the products are safe for consumption.

Jamaica imposed the ban on Monday this week as a scandal over alleged bribery by meat packers to allow the sale of expired meat in Brazil deepened, with the European Union, China and Chile deciding to halt some meat imports from South America’s largest nation.

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