"Rotten meat and made up with carcinogenic products": the scandal that shakes the largest meat companies in Brazil

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These are some of the illegal tactics that, according to the Brazilian authorities, several meat companies in the country used to sell meat in bad condition.

The so-called Weak Meat Operation of the Brazilian Federal Police, released this Friday, uncovered that several companies, among which are the most important in Brazil, adulterated the meat they sold in the internal and external market.

The huge operation, which took two years and covered seven states in the country, also disrupted an extensive network of bribery in which dozens of inspectors in charge of certifying that the products comply with health requirements would be involved.

Among the companies mentioned are BRF and JBS, which are among the world's largest meat exporters. Those responsible have denied that the accusations of the authorities are true.

"They used acids and other chemicals, in some cases carcinogenic, to hide the physical characteristics of the rotten product and its smell," said Mauricio Moscardi, head of the Brazilian Federal Police, at a press conference.

They also modified the expiration dates of products and injected water into the meat to increase its weight, among other fraudulent practices.

Police said there was evidence that the companies forged documents to export to Europe, China and the Middle East.

Links to politics

Brazil is the world's largest exporter of beef and chicken, and the fourth in pork. Their combined sales abroad represented 7.2% of the sector's global trade in 2016, the EFE agency reported.

Specifically, according to Reuters, Brazil exported US $ 6.9 billion of poultry meat and US $ 5.5 billion of beef last year.

As part of the operation, the police carried out several raids and detained sanitary inspectors and executives from several meat companies.

At the press conference, Mauricio Moscardi also stated that "the investigation makes it clear that part of the money from the bribes was reverted to political parties.

He assured that members of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, led by President Michel Temer, and the Progressive Party, were implicated in the scandal, but did not give names.

Brazilian Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi issued a statement in which he reported that he had ordered the suspension of 33 government officials accused of being involved in the scandal.

JBS is the world's largest beef exporter, with revenues of $ 55 billion and a market spanning 150 countries.

For its part, BRF is the world's largest exporter of poultry meat.


BBC World

Video: Brazil meat-packing giants exported rotten beef (July 2022).


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