Final Report of an Audit Conducted In Four European Union Member States February 3rd Through February 21st, 2014
Evaluating The Food Safety Systems Governing The Production of  Beef And Beef Products For Export To Canada

4. Background

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Canada has not allowed the importation of beef meat from the European Union since 1996, mainly due to BSE concerns. Since that time the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has published standards for trade in meat, which is considered to be a safe commodity, if the SRM is removed. Canada performed a fact finding mission with FVO auditors in one EU MS in 2006 to observe the control over the SRM. The outcome of this mission in United Kingdom (UK) was positive in that SRM control programs were properly developed, implemented and maintained by the competent authority.

However, Canada could not accept the importation of beef from European countries due to potential repercussions related to trade in meat with the United States. With USDA publishing a comprehensive BSE rule aligning their risk categorization with OIE, the trade environment has changed.

There have been a number of advances in science, industry best practices and inspection methods since the ban on importation of beef meat products from the EU MSs. Therefore, the CFIA decided to perform an onsite assessment on a sample of EU MSs before resuming the importation of beef from those 19 MSs that had their beef meat inspection systems approved by the CFIA.

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