Contaminated Meat and Govt Bribes: Fresh Scandal Rocks Brazil

Contaminated Meat and Govt Bribes: Fresh Scandal Rocks Brazil

Brazil, the world's biggest exporter of red meat, has been hit by a beef scandal that could seriously damage the country's worldwide reputation.

Brazilian President Michel Temer is scheduled to meet Sunday with agricultural authorities to address the contaminated meat scandal affecting the world's largest exporter of beef and poultry.

"The Brazilian government reiterates its confidence in the quality of a national product that has won over consumers and obtained the approval of the most rigorous markets", said Mr Temer.

Temer set up the meeting following inquiries from the European Union and China over the scandal.

According to the statement, police said they arrested three BRF employees and two JBS employees, as well as 20 public officials in the "Federal Police's largest ever search-and-raid operation ever".

They are being investigated for corruption. The committee said it hasn't found any irregularities with health certificates related to meat from Brazil since 2015.

JBS, the biggest meat processer in the world, said in a filing that none of its executives were singled out in the investigation and that its headquarters were not targeted.

Meanwhile, Brazil's President, Michel Temer, met foreign diplomats from the EU, China, the United States and elsewhere yesterday [Sunday 19 March] to allay concerns over exports following police raids on meatpackers in Brazil on Friday.

In the scheme, health inspectors allegedly received bribes from producers to turn a blind eye to the fact that some of the meat, including sausages and cold cuts, had been adulterated with ingredients including pig heads, with acid applied to disguise bad smells.

They accuse more than 30 companies of a number of unhygienic practices.

On Friday, regulators from the U.S., which recently began importing fresh beef from Brazil, said they were monitoring the issue but that inspections at import terminals there should prevent any health risks.

Claims have also been made that the companies used cheap products like water and manioc flour to blend in with meat before sale.



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