Brazil president meets ministers, ambassadors over rotten meat

Brazil president meets ministers, ambassadors over rotten meat

The companies accused export vast quantities of meat to Europe with Brazil being the world's largest red meat exporter.

According to officials, the federal government will speed up audits of the 21 meat packing plants mentioned in Operação Carne Fraca (Weak Flesh Operation), which was launched by the Federal Police last Friday (March 17th).

The strategy includes spots on prime time television and full-page ads in newspapers to say they have never sold rotten meat and that their products are perfectly safe to eat, denying allegations from the investigating judge that cardboard and acid have been added to some Brazilian meat.

In an unusual move on a Sunday, Temer welcomed about 20 ambassadors from among the 150 nations that import Brazilian meat to Planalto Palace in response to doubts raised after it was revealed that certain companies were adulterating spoiled meat to hide the odor, then selling it both in the local market and to foreign buyers, Efe news reported.

Rotten beef sold by top companies in Brazil
At least 30 people have been arrested in the scandal, with Brazilian police raiding more than a dozen processing plants. Three meat-packing plants have been closed and another 21 are being investigated.

"Until it receives more information, China will not unload meat imported from Brazil", the Brazilian agriculture ministry said in an online statement.

Sources close to the Brazilian industry told Beef Central that police had visited processing plants to gain access to meat inspectors' computers, phones and records.

That ban would stay in place until Brazil was able to confirm companies exporting meat to Chile had been adequately vetted.

In some cases, carcinogenic chemicals had been used to mask the smell of the meat, authorities confirmed.

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"Agribusiness for us in Brazil is incredibly important and cannot be devalued by a small group, by a minor thing that can be investigated, regulated and punished if needed", Temer told business leaders in Sao Paulo.

"The federal government wants to reiterate its confidence in the quality of our national product". The country is also a major exporter of chicken and pork products.

The scandal broke just days before the start of negotiations to seek a free-trade accord between the European Union and several South American countries including Brazil.

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