Mercosur deal: Brussels pressed over Brazilian meat scandal

The probe found evidence of meatpackers bribing inspectors and politicians to overlook unsanitary practices

Allegations have surfaced in Brazil that meat processors in the country have been selling rotten beef and poultry products.

Common shares of BRF and JBS fell as much as 10 percent early on Monday after posting heavy losses on Friday. One of the world's leading producers, Brazil exports $12 billion of meat to about 150 countries.

Investigator Mauricio Moscardi Grillo said the meatpackers used chemicals to improve the appearance and smell of expired meats.

BRF said it was co-operating with the investigation and denied violating regulations.

In Temer's address to the ambassadors (only 19 out of 33 took him up on the invitation), the President acknowledged that the scandal had caused "major concern".




Temer meant to reassure the ambassadors - at the end of the event, they were invited to have dinner at one of the most sought-after steak houses of Brasília (DF), Steak Bull, famous for serving imported meats.

Three processing plants have been closed in the country that is recognized as the world's largest red meat exporter. "What we have are containers there that can't leave the port to local markets". "To date, there have not been any significant instances of non-compliance in meat shipments from Brazil", AVA said.

"The commission is in the process of ensuring that any of the establishment implicated in the fraud are suspended from the exporting to the EU", said Enrico Brivio, spokesman of the European Commission.

While some of the substance of the reports now appears to be under question, China's regulatory body, the Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine nevertheless yesterday put a hold on all customs clearance and quarantine of Brazilian meat until further notice.

"In the IFA policy document on Brexit we have set out very clearly the need for equivalent standards on food safety, animal health, welfare and the environment and the need for the application of the common external tariff for imports to both the European Union and United Kingdom", he said.

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