Economy

Brazilian president defends meat amid scandal

Brazilian president defends meat amid scandal

"High quality Brazilian meat and meat products are exported to more than 150 countries", is said in their statement to the Committee on Sanitary and Phytossanitary Measures of the World Trade Organization.

Two other countries - Egypt and Chile - announced Saturday the resumption of meat imports from Brazil, with exceptions. The Brazilian authorities later imposed an export ban on 21 plants.

McDonald's Hong Kong announced on Thursday it would halt the sale of BBQ McWings, as it confirmed that some of the meat it used came from Brazil, but none of them were imports from the 21 companies at the center of the scandal.

According to it, on Friday, 17 the Brazilian Federal Police unveiled an investigation on irregular practices involving certification of meat and meat products by staff members of the Ministry of Agriculture in 21 meat processing facilities that handle beef, poultry and pork products.

The United Arab Emirates suspended shipments from six Brazilian meat plants and told importers to recall any of their products from local stores.

"We will decide later whether to continue bringing in the meat products from Brazil".

"We asked the Brazilians to suspend all exports but they refused", said the diplomat, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.

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South Korea had already called off a short-lived ban on chicken imports from Brazil's BRF SA on Tuesday, after just one day.

It added that the importation process is subject to double control: once in the country of origin and another time immediately after arrival to Egyptian ports. Both companies have denied any wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, Tsui Wah Restaurant, which has 32 branches featuring Hong Kong's cha chaan teng dishes, took all dishes containing Brazilian meats off the menu.

The Brazilian meat scandal has taken Asian fast-food chains for a ride after swine-flu and bird-flu threats that have tampered with consumer demand in Hong-Kong and Seoul.

The corruption scandal has hurt Brazil's reputation as the world's largest meat exporter, with sales of nearly $14 billion previous year.

Chinese authorities also decided that meat approved by anyone on a list of seven Brazilian veterinary experts would not be allowed into the country, the sources said.