China slaps ban on Brazilian meat exports over processing 'scandal'

Tammy Harvey
March 21, 2017

The European Commission said it would monitor meat imports from Brazil and deny any companies involved in a meat scandal there access to the European Union market, a spokesman said.

Since Friday, when federal authorities announced they're investigating evidence that producers bribed government officials to approve the sale and export of soiled meat, both companies went into damage-control mode.

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

"The agro business for us in Brazil is very important and it should not be marred by a small nucleus (of bad actors), a small thing", he said, speaking to the American Chamber of Commerce in Sao Paulo. Maggi told ambassadors that the Brazilian agricultural production is an extensive chain that employs more than 6 million people in the country and that Brazil has over 4,800 meat packing plants.

"We have complete confidence in our approach to food safety and product quality in Brazil, and in all of our operations around the world".

His calls for a ban were echoed by John Comer, president of the Irish Creamery and Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA), the revelations should prompt an immediate ban on Brazilian beef and poultry imports into the European Union until some degree of trust and confidence can be restored. The country is also a major exporter of chicken and pork products.

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.

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".

The president said that only 33 of the 11,000 inspectors at the agriculture ministry were being investigated for allegedly taking bribes to overlook meatpackers using chemicals to improve the appearance and smell of expired meat.

"My freezer at home is full of meat, and I don't know what to do", said Maria Fonseca, a saleswoman.

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