The US has banned fresh beef imports from Brazil, one of the world’s largest red meat exporters, due to concerns about the safety of the products. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Thursday said the ban “will remain in place until the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture takes corrective action which the USDA finds satisfactory”, reports Efe news. “Although international trade is an important part of what we do at USDA, and Brazil has long been one of our partners, my first priority is to protect American consumers. That’s what we’ve done by halting the import of Brazilian fresh beef.” US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement.
The decision came after a series of controls that the Department of Agriculture began to impose on these imports in March, when it was revealed that some Brazilian meat packers bribed health inspectors to approve their rotten substandard products. According to the Brazilian police, some producers, including giant exporters’ plants like JBS and BRF, had conspired with corrupt health inspectors to use chemical ingredients to cover the physical aspects of rotten meat products.
The scandal, also known as “weak meat”, led major buyers like China, Hong Kong and the European Union to temporarily curtail meat imports from Brazil. JBS, one of the world’s largest fresh meat exporters implicated in the meat scandal, is facing another corruption case in which Brazilian President Michel Temer is also involved.