In the wake of news last week that Brazilian authorities had raided JBS and other large meat packers on charges of government bribery and sale of adulterated meat product, China’s Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine has announced that all clearance of Brazilian meat products will be put on hold. The declaration includes product already in warehouses and in transit, with approximately 3400 tons estimated to be on ships alone. No word just yet on how many tons are in estimated to be in Chinese warehouses.
The raids came after reports surfaced that JBS SA as well as competitor BRF SA and several smaller regional companies had bribed government officials to overlook sanitation violations. In particular, the raids surfaced on the question of whether or not the companies had processed rotten meat, shipped salmonella tainted cargoes, and forged certificates on Chinese, EU and Middle Eastern bound containers.
So far, the EU has not slapped any restrictions on Brazil’s products, although analysts say there is a high possibility of that happening in the near future. The raids have also resulted in the arrests of 5 employees; 3 from BRF and 2 from JBS, as well as 20 government officials. One BRF plant has been ordered temporarily closed as well as two operated by a smaller company Grupo Peccin.