Touch the Soil News #656 (feature photo – Michael Bennett CC SA 3.0)
A global food scandal is unfolding as Federal authorities in Brazil arrested and investigate almost 30 Brazilian meat companies. Included in the investigation are JBS SA and BRF SA. JBS SA is the world’s largest meat company overall. BRF SA is the world’s largest poultry exporter.
Allegations include bribes to conceal unsanitary meat packing and processing conditions along with using chemicals to doctor up spoiled meat for export. The Federal probe in Brazil has been going on for over 2 years. Now that proof has been obtained for wrongdoing, the impact is having shock waves around the world.
Major importers of Brazilian beef to include Canada, China, Mexico, the European Union, Saudi Arabia, Chile, Japan, Switzerland and Hong Kong immediately halted imports. This is no small deal as Brazil exports of meat were headed to nations that represent roughly 2 billion people. Brazil has over 4,800 meat packing plants. JBS SA, the world’s largest, closed 33 of its 36 plants in Brazil.
Normally, Brazil exports an average of $63 million worth of meat every day. That number, after the dramatic blocks of Brazilian meat, dropped to under $100,000 one day recently.
In the U.S., JBS SA owns Pilgrim’s Pride, which has not been implicated in the corruption. Wal-Mart, an importer of Brazilian beef says that there are stringent inspections on all meat coming in from Brazil and for customers not to worry, as they are still accepting Brazilian beef. Huh?
Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue – who is in the process of being confirmed for U.S. Secretary of Agriculture is siding with the meat companies in Brazil. When questioned by the U.S. Senate, Perdue says the unfolding bans around the world of Brazilian beef are an over-reaction and that the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service will see that none of the compromised meat enters the U.S. Huh?