Brazil Tainted-Meat Probe Widens as Trade Partners Study Impact

Andrew Cummings
March 20, 2017

BRF said in a statement that it meets all of the standards and regulations required by law and that there it has "rigorous processes and controls and does not condone illegal practices".

Meeting ambassadors from Europe, the United States and China, Mr Temer said his government remained confident about the quality of Brazilian meat.

He said at least one executive reported that rotten meat was mixed with healthy meat to be sold to consumers. The two companies invested a combined 1.2 billion reais ($386 million) in the first half of 2016 in advertising, according to the latest data from Kantar Ibope Media, a media research company.

It added that those companies follow the strictest domestic and worldwide rules and standards for beef, whether that meat is intended for the domestic market or for export markets. Wrongdoings would also include repackaging of expired products and the export of cargoes tainted with salmonella.

On Friday, Copa and Cogeca secretary general, Pekka Pesonen, sent a letter to the Commission calling for European Union safety standards to be met and for Mercosur countries to ensure individual traceability of cattle and a ban on the use of meat and bone meal in poultry production. It was alleged that some of the meat, including sausages and cold cuts, was adulterated with ingredients including pig heads, and that suspect smells were masked by applying acid.

Prosecutors said that BRF and JBS had influence in choosing the inspectors responsible for overseeing their plants and paid bribes to get clearance for their products.

The Agriculture Ministry said the scandal affects the country's reputations as meat trader.

Two of the country's largest meatpackers JBS and BRF are among those being investigated.

But the two companies at the centre of the scandal have denied the allegations.

The investigation and any potential repercussion on business come at a bad time for the companies. Bond yields for both companies also surged.

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