MOROCCO – The Moroccan government has dismissed claims that imported meat from Brazil is of poor quality and warned its citizens from circulating the idea that the meats are from unhealthy cattle.

The statement from Parliament and government spokesman Mustapha Baitas was triggered by a rise of concerns from Morocco beef consumers regarding beef cattle after videos and images surfaced on the internet with claims of discernibly poor health and an indication of poor-quality meat.

The consumers claimed that the beef meat sold to them did not match the quality standards given by the National Office of Food Safety (ONSSA).

Parliamentarian Hayat Laraich who has joined a growing list of citizens also expressed concerns about the quality of Brazilian cattle imports in Morocco.

Laraich, a member of the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) political party, addressed a question to the government to ask about the measures to tackle potential challenges related to Brazilian cattle exports to Morocco.

He suggested that the cows imported by Morocco from Brazil are carrying new genetic information, stressing that this could lead to a negative impact on Morocco’s livestock biodiversity due to “potential genetic contamination.”

“Our country possesses world-class quality calves and vegetables, which are exported to the European markets, and you, Akhnnouch come with cattle with unknown identity and genes,” a comment read.

Baitas warned against these claims, insisting that ONSA only issues certificates following rigorous control and that several laboratory studies have been carried out to ensure the quality of the imported cattle.

“The import process underwent meticulous health checks, including one by ONSSA, to guarantee that the market is supplied with quality products,” Baitas argued.

The Moroccan government turned to Brazil for cattle imports following a lack of production, rising prices, and climate stressors within the kingdom.

Brazilian cattle are less expensive to import than that of other South American countries, leading to “quality versus quantity” concerns.

In 2022, Moroccan imports from Brazil increased by 88.82% as the countries sought to forge relations regarding import-export deals.

This year, Morocco also resorted to Brazil for cattle exports instead of the European Union to stabilize the price of meat for financially stressed Moroccan households. It imported 2800 heads from the South American country.

Brazil is set to become the largest beef exporter in 2023 due to the country’s tropical climate, which is a factor in the good quality of its cattle.

Due to the decision to import beef from Brazil rather than the European Union to stabilize costs nationwide, butchers are expected to set their profit margin in hopes of selling the meat at a reasonable price.

The pressure from citizens to bring the price of red meat to its usual rate has increased, especially after the Moroccan government promised to lower prices during Ramadan.

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