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Brazil Tries to Calm Importers After Reports of Tainted Meats

21 March, 2017, 00:33 | Author: Paula Vaughn
  • Brazil police targets JBS, BRF in food fraud probe

Brazil's Ministry of Agriculture has said no meat from the 21 factories under scrutiny would be transported out of the country without prior authorisation of government-appointed auditors.

IFA president Joe Healy said the latest shocking revelations on the failure of Brazil to meet European Union standards and controls in the meat sector raises very serious concerns around European Union meat imports.

Meat has been one of Brazil's few thriving industries during its two year recession.

It added that those companies follow the strictest domestic and global rules and standards for beef, whether that meat is intended for the domestic market or for export markets.

Brazilian authorities launched raids in six states on Saturday, after a two-year investigation.

Dozens of meat processors officers were searched by Brazilian federal police last Friday, including pork and poultry processors JBS S.A. and BRF S.A.

Brazil is the world's largest exporter of red meat.

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Brazilian meat is exported to more than 150 countries, with principal markets also including Japan, Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation.

Some of Brazil's top meat processors are accused of paying bribes to keep rotten beef and chicken on the market.

Credit Suisse Securities analyst Victor Saragiotto wrote in a Monday note to clients that the scandal "could be enough to compromise temporarily Brazilian protein's acceptance worldwide". One Chinese importer is reported to have 160 containers of Brazilian beef on the water.

European farmers' body, Copa, said the scandal underlined the importance of ensuring that imports of meat from South America met the EU's high safety and traceability standards. The company says it meets worldwide standards and supports punishing those who do not adhere to regulations.

A poultry-processing plant run by the multinational BRF group and two meat-processing plants operated by the local Peccin company were shut down, the agriculture ministry said.

In a statement, BRF said the company has not received any formal notice from Brazilian or foreign authorities related to the suspension of its plants. "Should I eat it or just throw it all away?"

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