Brazil meat scandal: Temer assures foreign markets

Chile's Agriculture Minister Carlos Furche confirmed on Twitter that the Chilean Government was imposing a "temporary" ban on meat imports from Brazil.

As the crisis in the industry continued to grow, Brazil's president Michel Temer met with ministerial aids and ambassadors from Europe, the United States and China to tackle the controversy.

"The government reiterates its trust in the quality of this Brazilian product", Temer said.

RIO DE JANEIRO/SAO PAULO Brazil's Federal Police on Friday launched massive raids and searches as part of a probe of unnamed food processors accused of bribing regulators to loosen oversight.

Trying to calm fears that tainted meat may have been exported overseas, Brazil's President Michel Temer met with a group of 33 ambassadors from major meat importing countries that the great majority of Brazil's meats is of excellent quality and that the federal government would be creating a task force to look into those meatpacking plants accused by the federal police.

According to the statement, police said they arrested three BRF employees and two JBS employees, as well as 20 public officials in the "Federal Police's largest ever search-and-raid operation ever".

Credit Suisse Securities analyst Victor Saragiotto wrote in a Monday note to clients that the scandal "could be enough to compromise temporarily Brazilian protein's acceptance worldwide". "What we have are containers there that can't leave the port to local markets".

Authorities say that out of the 4,800 meatpacking facilities subject to federal inspection in Brazil, 21 are under investigation, including units of the two big companies JBS and BRF.

The European Commission said the scandal would not affect negotiations between the European Union and South American bloc Mercosur about agreements on free trade.

"My freezer at home is full of meat, and I don't know what to do", said Maria Fonseca, a saleswoman.

Both companies have denied wrongdoing.

The EU "will guarantee that any of the establishments involved in the fraud will be suspended", said Mr Brivio, who did not cite companies by name or say how long the ban will last.

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