Published: Fri, March 31, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

Bully beef ban ... Gov't halts sale, import of product from Brazil

While he did not confirm how much Brazilian meat now being shipped is in limbo, numerous worldwide markets have closed to Brazilian meat exports since Friday, after police raided 21 meat processing plants amid allegations of rotten meat being processed and sold.

According to reports, meatpackers in Brazil have been shipping out Salmonella-tainted beef products-a problem that is known and ignored by some official health inspectors. In August 2016, the US finally began allowing beef imports from Brazil after a 13-year ban due to multiple complications with foreign beef producers. Brazil's questionable product quality is said to be the main cause of the import halts.

The Brazilian Minister for Agriculture confirmed to Agriland that authorities in Brazil are intensifying their efforts to monitor the meat processing industry, in order to prevent a similar scandal occurring in the future.

The decision by convenience store chains to stop using Brazilian chicken in their products followed on the heels of the supermarket chains' precautions.

In addition, the department assured consumers that officials at ports of entry have been vigilant when coming to meat imports.

On Friday, Brazilian federal police entered meat-producing plants and arrested more than 30 employees on grounds of participating in illegal practices.

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The source added that importers are "furious at the FEHD's move to ban all Brazilian imports" and "angry that the FEHD contacted restaurant chains on Monday, but importers heard about the ban from the press".

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Korea imported a total of 107,399 tons of chicken in 2016, of which Brazil accounted for 82 percent (88,995 tons).

These investigations had been conducted over the last two years with rigour and free from any intervention.

The scandal also broke right ahead of negotiations to seek a free-trade accord between the European Union and several South American countries including Brazil.

China on Tuesday voiced concerns over meat quality problems in Brazil.

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