China and the European Union curtailed meat imports from Brazil on Monday after police, in an anti-corruption probe criticized by the government as
As the scandal deepened, Brazil's Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said the government had suspended exports from 21 meat processing units.
But he also criticized the investigation by Brazil's Federal Police into meatpacking companies, calling their findings “alarmist” and saying they used a few isolated incidents to tarnish an entire industry that maintains rigorous standards.
An all-out ban on Brazilian meat exports would be a “disaster,” Maggi added. “I pray, I hope, I work so that does not happen,” he said, speaking to reporters outside his office in Brasilia.
With other import curbs expected to follow, the scandal stemming from a police operation codenamed “Weak Flesh” could deal a heavy blow to one of the few sectors of Latin America's largest economy that has thrived during a two-year recession.
JBS is the world's largest meat producer and BRF the biggest poultry exporter.
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Photo: Northern Ag Network