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Salted chicken and peppered turkey: Brazil sues EU at WTO

Brazil has filed a dispute claim with the European Union at the World Trade Organization (WTO) because of the barriers against Brazilian poultry meat to access the 27 countries of the bloc.
The Brazilian poultry sector hopes for a friendly resolution for the WTO dispute. Photo: Jan Willem Schouten
The Brazilian poultry sector hopes for a friendly resolution for the WTO dispute. Photo: Jan Willem Schouten

According to the Valor Econômico, the Brazilian government was alerted about that for a long time, but it only took the decision now, days after the visit from the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, to Brazil. The diplomat’s visit was an attempt to recover bilateral relations at a higher level. Brazil triggered the WTO dispute based on the argument that EU imposes “discriminatory sanitary controls for the detection of salmonella in salted chicken meat and turkey with pepper”.

Baseless claims

Itamaraty, the Brazilian foreign relations office, claims that there is no technical or scientific evidence to justify more strict criteria for salmonella detection in salted chicken meat and turkey with pepper compared to fresh poultry meat.

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According to Brazil’s claims, imposing “these discriminatory criteria, EU acts in disagreement with the WTO's Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and creates unjustified barriers to international trade”.

Even so, Itamaraty stated that he believes in a friendly solution with the Europeans. “Brazil hopes to receive a response and reach an agreement on a mutually convenient date for consultations in order to resolve this controversy,” says a document signed by the Brazilian ambassador to the WTO, Alexandre Parola.

The request for consultations is the first step in a dispute at WTO. After 60 days, if there is no agreement between the parties, Brazil may request the installation of a panel. Usually, those processes can take years to be concluded, especially in the current situation in which the WTO Appellate Body, a kind of “supreme court” of international trade, is practically deactivated.