Pressure grows for EU crackdown on Brazilian meat imports
A visit by EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, to Brazil this week is expected to be crucial on how Europe responds to the unfolding meat scandal.
The Brazilian beef industry was rocked by revelations from a two-year investigation that meatpackers allegedly paid off inspectors to overlook practices, including processing rotten meat, shipping exports with traces of salmonella and not carrying out inspections.
Among the companies implicated in the scandal are the Brazilian beef sector giants BRF and JBS.
Irish MEP Mairead McGuinness said "fraud and corruption in the Brazilian meat industry must be top of the agenda" for Commissioner Andriukaitis's visit.
Ms McGuinness, who is vice-president of the European Parliament, also maintained that any consignments of Brazilian meat destined for Europe must be subject to stringent inspections before being cleared for entry.
"These consignments must be stopped and double checked," she said.
Ms McGuinness said the visit by Commissioner Andriukaitis to Brazil this week would be crucially important.
ICSA general secretary Eddie Punch echoed Ms McGuinness's concerns at a meeting with Commissioner Andriukaitis in Brussels last week.