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November 2, 2017

Number of Countries Importing Brazilian Meat back to Normal

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

The Brazilian Minister of Agriculture was recently invited by the Brazilian Congress to report on the progress being made in reopening Brazilian meat exports to countries that had banned Brazilian meat after the meat inspection scandal that broke earlier in 2017.

On Wednesday, October 31, the Minister of Agriculture, Blairo Maggi, reported that virtually all of the countries that had banned Brazilian meat imports after the scandal have now reopened their markets to Brazilian meat. Of the 93 countries that had instituted a temporary ban on Brazilian meat imports, the ban remains in place in only four countries. Of the original 93 countries, 33 countries have returned to importing Brazilian meat without restrictions and 56 countries are importing Brazilian meat with enhanced inspections.

As part of his testimony, he was also asked to elaborate on the steps being taken to prevent such a problem in the future. He stated that one step taken this for is to end the political appointment of state superintendents in charge of the inspection programs. The entire inspection system is being studied on how to modernize and upgrade the system. The Minister emphasized that they are working with all the stakeholders, both private and public, to improve the system.

The bans on Brazilian meat were the result of a two-year investigation conducted by the Brazilian Federal Police in which they announced the arrests of two dozen meat inspectors who were suspected of taking bribes in order to approve the sale of tainted meat products. Meat processors were very upset at the way the investigation was announced. Even though only a very small number of meat processing facilities in Brazil were involved in illegal activity, the revelation cast suspicion on the entire meat processing industry in Brazil.