Farmers are again militating for an end to imports of Brazilian beef, claiming it falls below EU standards. Fairness for Farmers in Europe leafleted thousands of shoppers at a Tesco store in Cardiff this week in a bid to raise awareness of alleged animal welfare and environmental abuses in Brazil.

And the National Beef Association accused the European Commission of hypocrisy over Brazilian meat, calling for a firmer line on monitoring meat quality. It wants to see greater traceability, FMD control, pre-slaughter welfare standards and closer monitoring of journey times to slaughter premises in Brazil.

"The Commission's relaxed monitoring of steroid, other hormone residues and veterinary medicine controls relating to Brazilian beef is a good example of the favours allowed to Brazil," said NBA chief executive Robert Forster. He added that banned steroids are "clearly still in use in some locations" in Brazil.