Inspection scandal makes mincemeat of Brazil's export trade

Members of the Public Health Surveillance Agency collect meats to analyse in their laboratory at a supermarket in Rio de Janeiro

Some of the world's biggest meat consuming countries have slapped restrictions on meat being exported from Brazil's food conglomerates JBS S.A. and ERF.

The European Union, South Korea and Chile have also suspended meat import from the country.

The USDA says that no beef has been shipped to the United States.They also say that additional testing will be administered to beef that may be imported in the future.

Egypt is tightening inspection rules at ports and is holding off on issuing new import permits until results of Brazil's investigation, according to Hamad Abdel-Dayem, spokesman for Egypt's Agriculture Ministry.

Three meat packaging companies have been closed while the other 21 are now under investigation.

The meat scandal, which began when authorities accused inspectors for the biggest beef and poultry companies of taking bribes to overlook the process of meat sales, has continued to get worse for Brazil as safety fears have grown in recent days.

Brazil is the top supplier of beef to China, accounting for about 31 per cent of its imports in the first half of previous year.




The head of animal health at the Emirates' Ministry of Climate Change and the Environment, Kaltham Ali Kiaf, had said earlier on Thursday that imports would continue.

The UAE has banned imported meat from six Brazilian companies amid a corruption investigation into the South American country's livestock industry.

"Documentation and physical checking of imported meat should be intensified", said Asnami, adding that the move would be aimed not only to prevent the entry of poor quality meat, but also to prevent the entry of non-halal meat.

Cayman supermarket chain, Foster's, pulled all corned beef products manufactured in Brazil from its shelves on Monday, while Caribbean neighbour, Jamaica, imposed an immediate ban on all corned beef products.

Mexico issued a ban on poultry imports late Tuesday (March 21), asking Brazil to provide guarantees on the quality and safety of the produce.

Brazil's president, Michel Temer (photographed above), has tried to cool concerns. "It felt like we might be stigmatized if we didn't follow the suit", he said.

Companies caught up in the scandal include a number that export to Europe, including JBS - the world's largest exporter of beef.

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