MARD suggests suspension of meat imports from Brazil

The Department of Animal Health under Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has proposed to suspend meat imports from some Brazilian companies after an expired meat scandal surfaced.

Consumers choose imported beef at a supermarket in Hanoi. Vietnam wants to suspend meat imports from several Brazilian companies as news of an expired meat corruption scandal continues to unfold. (Photo: VNS)

Earlier, Trade Office of Vietnam in Brazil warned Vietnam's State agencies to strictly control meat imported from Brazil because of the scandal.

Vietnam's Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) quoted the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply as saying that Brazilian authorities are currently investigating and collecting evidence alleging that many companies, including JBS and BRF--the largest meat companies in Brazil and the world--have bribed state staff to allow them to sell and export rotten and expired meat products.

On March 20, the MoIT sent official letters to the ministries of Agriculture and Rural Department, and Finance to request their close co-operation in controlling meat imports from Brazil to Vietnam.

The MoIT will closely follow the case’s developments and update information regularly.

From the early this year to now, Vietnam imported 3,000 tonnes of meat and meat products from Brazil, Pham Van Dong, head of the Department of Animal Health, told Nguoi Lao Dong (The Labourer) newspaper on Wednesday.

All batches of meat imports from Brazil to Vietnam have undergone quarantine before being granted import licences, said Dong.

After having information about the scandal of expired meat in Brazil, the department has directed veterinary agencies to promote further control of meat imported from Brazil, he said.

“If they find out meat products imported from JBS SA and BRF SA, they must not give import licences,” Dong said.

Many countries in the world have suspended imports of meat from Brazil and the department proposed a suspension of the imports for ensuring food safety on the local market, he said.

Almost all supermarkets in HCM City have not sold meat imported from Brazil while Brazilian meat products have been advertised much at websites, reported zingnews.vn.

Large supermarkets such as Mega Market, Emart and Co.op Mart have sold mainly local meat products and some meat imported from the US and Australia.

Co.op Mart representative said to control food quality and safety, the supermarket has chosen Vissan to be its supplier of local and imported meat products.

According to Vietnam's Ministry of Industry and Trade, Brazil is the largest producer of meat and meat products in the world. Its meat exports account for about 20 percent of the world’s total meat exports and are exported to 150 countries and territories.

Source: VNS

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