Brazil's president: Meat scandal is 'economic embarrassment'

30 March, 2017, 02:04 | Author: Joy Garcia
  • Brazil's Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi helps himself to a beef dish in a restaurant in Brasilia

Mr Woods was meeting MEPs and officials from the Commission in Brussels to reiterate the IFA's call for a ban on Brazilian meat imports.

The CFS will continue to enhance surveillance on meat and poultry meat imported from Brazil and closely monitor the case. Food inspectors and officials are accused of accepting bribes in exchange for overlooking unsanitary factory conditions and potentially contaminated meat.

On Wednesday, Brazil's government appealed to the World Trade Organization's (WTO's) 163 other members not to impose "arbitrary" meat bans.

South Africa, United Arab Emirates and Chile are among other countries to have halted imports of Brazilian meat.

Speaking to Loop following reports that corned beef imported from Brazil has been recalled, Ibrahim said the tins in the warehouse have been there since last August.

Brazilian multinationals caught up in the growing scandal have insisted that their products were safe, but the scandal has sparked growing public fears.

Removing the menu items will add to plummeting demand for meat, with poultry particularly hard hit in 2017 by the global spread of the deadly bird flu virus, and could damage Brazil's meatpacking industry.

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Brazil sells more than $10 billion of chicken and beef a year but a scandal over rotten produce and faked inspections has prompted import bans, threatening the world's biggest meat producer.

"Due to this reason, we predict that more than 30 countries that will no longer trust us as a meat exporter", says Agricultural Minister of Brazil, Blairo Maggi.

It pointed out that of 11,000 employees at the agriculture ministry, 2,300 work as inspectors on animal products and "only 33 individuals are being investigated for improper conduct". The 21 plants have also been suspended from exporting.

Capital Economics warned on Monday (March 20) that "the developing scandal over Brazil's meat exports could plausibly derail the country's economic recovery".

Hong Kong is the biggest market for Brazilian beef, importing $718 million worth in 2016, according to Brazilian government figures.

The accusations involved a minor part of JBS's operations in Brazil, they follow a series of allegations made over the past 14 months.

“We have been very compliant and we just went ahead and pulled the product, ” he said.

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