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Brazil suspends exports of meat from scandal-hit producers MEAT

(Rio de Janeiro,NewsHalal) Brazil's Agricultural Ministry announced on Monday the temporary suspension of exporting products by some of Brazil's largest meat-packing companies.

Twenty-one meat-packing companies are being investigated for selling rotten meat. Several countries, including Chile and China, and the European Union have decided to temporarily suspend import of the Brazilian meat products, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.

Brazilian President Michel Temer said the same day that the problems found in the frozen meat sector, during police raids on Friday, only affected a small part of the sector.
Speaking to a crowd of businessmen at the American Chamber of Commerce in Sao Paulo, Temer admitted that the case could severely impact one of Brazil's main exports.

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The operation carried out by police on Friday found that some of Brazil's largest food companies, including the JBS group and Brasil Foods, had committed fraud in order to hide foodstuffs beyond their sell-by date.

On Sunday, in an effort to show his confidence in the meat sector, Temer dined out with a group of ministers and ambassadors at a "churrascaria," a traditional Brazilian meat restaurant in Brasilia.

However, a report by the daily O Estado de Sao Paulo said that the restaurant uses beef imported from Argentina, Uruguay and Australia.

Authorities in Brazil continued on Monday their attempt to contain a backlash of reactions about the investigation by the country’s federal police into tainted meat being sold in markets in Brazil and abroad.

With several countries already halting meat imports from Brazil, analysts say that the scandal would derail Brazil’s economic recovery.

After a two-year investigation, federal authorities arrested on Friday, March 17th, thirty people involved with the tainted meat scandal, raided more than a dozen processing businesses and shut down a poultry-processing unit and two meat-processing plants.

Authorities set up a crisis management team with Brazil’s Agriculture Minister, Blairo Maggi and his team holding video conferences with foreign animal sanitary agencies to explain the situation.