The United States has halted imports of fresh Brazilian beef, after a high percentage of shipments failed to pass safety checks.
In a statement, the US Department of Agriculture said it had "recurring concerns about the safety of the products intended for the American market," after increasing tests on Brazilian beef in March.
The agency raised scrutiny on Brazilian beef and ready-to-eat products as a precaution following an investigation into corruption involving Brazil's health inspectors.
The USDA's action threatens the reputation of meat from Brazil, the world's top exporter of beef and poultry, even though the United States is not a top customer. It also could boost domestic sales in the United States.
Since March, the USDA has rejected 11% of Brazilian fresh beef products, compared to the rejection rate of 1% for shipments from the rest of the world, the agency said.
The shipments raised concerns about public health, animal health and sanitation, according to the USDA.
The agency said none of the rejected lots made it into the US market.
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The move to block Brazilian meat is a turnaround for Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who warned in March that Brazil might retaliate if the United States halted beef imports.
In a statement yesterday, he said that "although international trade is an important part of what we do at USDA, and Brazil has long been one of our partners, my first priority is to protect American consumers".
The US suspension will remain in place until Brazil's Agriculture Ministry "takes corrective action which the USDA finds satisfactory," according to the agency.
A number of global buyers, including China, Egypt and Chile, curtailed imports of Brazilian meat after Brazilian federal police unveiled an investigation into alleged corruption in the sector on 17 March.
Brazilian authorities said at the time that meat companies made payments to government health officials to forego inspections and cover up health violations.
The United States began allowing shipments of fresh beef from Brazil last year after banning them due to concerns about foot and mouth disease in cattle.