Published: Thu, March 23, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Mexico suspends imports of Brazilian meat, poultry amid health concerns

Marketing Manager for Massy Stores, Anthony Choo Quan, told LoopTT that as far as the company knows, it has followed all regulatory requirements as the company's "Pricesaver" corned beef was inspected and approved for export by the Brazilian government.

Underlining Brazil's leading position as an exporter of animal products to 150 countries, the letter insisted that the agriculture ministry "is widely recognized for its rigorous and robust inspection service".

Switzerland had previously imported expensive beef and poultry from the sites, the authority added. "Nearly all the major fast moving frozen chicken brands in the market are imported from Brazil", he said.

Maggi warned that Brazil's chances are dwindling for realising ambitions to raise market share in the worldwide food trade to 10 per cent from the current seven per cent. China is the biggest export market for Brazilian meat, buying about a third of the US$5.5 billion of beef shipped from Latin America's largest economy a year ago. He declined to be quoted because of the sensitivity of the matter. He also encouraged citizens to report stores where the recalled items were still being sold by calling the Consumer Affairs Hotline at 800-4277.

Brazil's Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said the government had suspended exports from 21 meat processing units.

Brazil meat export crisis widens.

However, the damage to the industry's reputation could be far reaching, hitting Brazil just as the country struggles to exit its worst recession in history.

But the country has been hit by its own safety scandals in the past, making retailers sensitive to any potential risks. Only after the products are proven fit for human consumption and are found in conformity with the relevant technical regulations and Gulf standards, will the products be released, the ministry said yesterday.

"Many of the well-known brands on the local supermarket shelves originate from Brazil", Rambharat acknowleged.

Importers are expected to wait a few more days before seeking out alternative supplies, which will likely be more costly than Brazil's.

Now China, Canada, Japan, Mexico and all European Union (EU) member states have either suspended or restricted imports of Brazilian meat in reaction to the corruption probe.

Maharaj said one has to remember that Brazil has 4,700 production factories. FSIS has also increased its examination of all these products at ports-of-entry across the country.

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