Concerns that Brazilian beef producers are hoodwinking international animal and food health regulators by using superficial controls have prompted calls to ban imports into the EU.

Irish MEP Mairead McGuinness told a European Parliament agriculture committee today (16 July): "It is important not only from a human health point of view but also from an ethical aspect."

Her calls were supported by other members and follow the release of information by the Irish Farmers Association.

Its officials found mandatory cattle ear tags - allowing meat to be traced back to disease-ridden producers - were placed on Brazilian cattle just a few weeks before slaughter, rather than during their whole lives.