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Measures taken to protect consumers after Brazil meat scare

By Wang Qingyun | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-03-21 20:45

Authorities have taken "precautionary and temporary measures" to protect consumer safety against "quality problems that occurred in part of Brazil's meat products", the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying expressed China's concerns over the quality of Brazilian meat during a news conference in Beijing and urged Brazil to conduct a "thorough investigation" and inform China of the result as soon as possible. This follows raids conducted by Brazilian police on Friday that allegedly found evidence of bribes being paid to allow sub-standard meat be exported.

Hua also requested that Brazil to take tougher measures to ensure the safety and credibility of its food exported to China.

The spokeswoman said she hopes that China and Brazil, major trade partners, will strengthen communication and coordination and solve the problem properly, to maintain healthy and stable development of bilateral trade.

Brazilian police raided the premises of global meatpacking companies JBS SA and BRF SA on Friday, as well as dozens of smaller rivals, in a crackdown on alleged bribing of health officials that could threaten the $12 billion market in annual exports.

The probe, known as "Operation Weak Flesh," found evidence of meatpackers bribing inspectors and politicians to overlook unsanitary practices such as processing rotten meat and shipping exports with traces of salmonella, police said.

Police said there was evidence that meatpackers falsified documentation for exports to Europe, China and the Middle East.

Reuters contributed to this story.

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