Brazilian authorities have indicted 63 people for their role in a corruption scheme within Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture.
The charges allege federal auditors at meat processing facilities took bribes for years in exchange for fraudulent sanitary permits.
Allegations also include selling spoiled meat and injecting water to sell poultry at higher prices.
Brazilian police are also reporting some producers used chemical ingredients to “disguise the physical aspect or smell of rotten meat.”
Immediately, Brazil’s meat exports dropped to near zero. As details emerged, meat exports from Brazil’s larger packing companies resumed.
In August 2016, the USDA announce it would accept fresh beef imports from Brazil, and since then, a small amount has been accepted.
“Following the recent corruption scandal, R-CALF USA is calling on the United States to ban Brazilian beef and is seeking 100,000 signatures to a petition on the White House’s ‘We the People’ website,” said Greg Henderson, editorial director of Drovers. “R-CALF says the petition is important because American-produced beef is not differentiated from Brazilian beef.”
USDA says no meat from the plants targeted in Brazil’s investigation was shipped to the U.S., but any future shipments would be subject to inspection until the scandal is resolved.