Brazil's Rotten Meat Scandal Threatens Billions in Annual Exports

Speaking to reporters in Brussels, European Union spokesman Enrico Brivio said the Brazilian companies involved in alleged bribery would be temporarily barred from shipping meat to the EU.

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

Brazil is the world's largest exporter of red meat, and much of the meat produced by these companies is exported to Europe, China and the US.

The decision is a blow to Brazil, one of the world's largest exporters of meat.

The catalyst for the ban has been a series of media reports since Friday which have claimed a meat industry "scandal" is unfolding in Brazil, with reports of "tainted" and "rotten" Brazilian meat being sold as a result of meat inspectors receiving bribes.

The EU "will guarantee that any of the establishments involved in the fraud will be suspended", said Brivio, who didn't cite companies by name or expound on how long the ban will last.

Temer said his government is confident of the quality of Brazilian meat. According to ABPA's Santin, the Asian nation will increase its vigilance on Brazil imports, raising the share of products analyzed to 15 percent from 1 percent.

Meat giants JBS and BRF were among more than 20 companies targeted in the raids.

Investigators are looking into claims that companies paid bribes to hide unhygienic conditions at meatpacking plants.

Chile followed suit, announcing the temporary suspension of Brazilian meats, said Angel Sartori, director of that country's Agricultural and Livestock Service.

Meat has been one of Brazil's few thriving industries during its two year recession.

South Korea has suspended the distribution of Brazil chicken products.

The EU is seeking details from the Brazilian government over risks to imports.

Past year the European Commission bowed to pressure from Ireland and other member states and removed beef from its proposed trade deal with South America.

The scandal also 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.

It added that if the country has been approved as a source of meat supply, then each meat establishment within the country will be evaluated to ensure they meet Singapore's food safety requirements before it can be exported here. But he insisted that the bad meat and faked certificates occurred in only "very few businesses" and did not represent a wider problem. Of the 21 plants investigated, only six were eligible for export, or had exported product in the last 60 days.

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