Brazil's meatpacking industry has been badly damaged by a police investigation into alleged unsanitary and corrupt practices, and could lose upward of 10 percent of its global market share, Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said on Wednesday.
Responding to comment from this site, a spokesperson for the European Commission said it was "inaccurate" to suggest the EU had imposed an all-out ban on Brazilian meat imports, like China and Hong Kong.
Brazilian President Michel Temer and Angola's ambassador Nelson Manuel Cosme eat barbecue in a steak house in Brasilia after a meeting with ambassadors from countries that import Brazilian meat, on March 19, 2017.
Following the release of this news, China was quick to react saying it would not accept any meat shipments from Brazil until its government provided clarification on the investigations.
A spokeswoman for Sun Art Retail, which operates 400 Chinese hypermarkets, said on Wednesday the chain had removed beef supplied by top Brazilian exporters BRF SA and JBS SA from its shelves from Monday.
BBC reported that three Brazilian meat processing plants have also been closed and another 21 are under scrutiny. If inspectors were paid to not do their jobs, it is impossible to know if putrid products entered the market, Alcadipani said. All four have been since been suspended from exporting meat to the EU.
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As a precautionary measure, all imported corned beef that is now on the shelves will be withdrawn. But as of Tuesday afternoon, the products remain on local supermarket shelves.
Maggi fears for the continued livelihood of Brazil's meat industry; the country is now the world's most prolific exporter of beef and poultry.
Hong Kong is the biggest market for Brazilian beef, importing $718 million worth in 2016, according to Brazilian government figures.
It takes a month or longer for meat from Brazil to reach Asian ports, so cargoes already loaded are now in limbo.
Secretary for Food and Health: We are very concerned about the quality of imported meat and poultry products from Brazil following the investigation of the Brazilian authorities.
Ibrahim said SATT is awaiting official word from the Ministry of Health.