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T&T bans Brazilian meat imports: Products still on shelves

Trinidad Express / AGRICULTURE Minister Clarence Rambharat has announced immediate restrictions on meat imports from Brazil. But as of Tuesday afternoon, the products remain on local supermarket shelves.

Rambharat said the Ministers of Agriculture, Trade and Industry and Health have been examining the meat scandal which has unfolded in Brazil.

“ Our Chief Veterinary Officer has advised that import permits for processed meat products out of Brazil were issued by the Ministry to local importers, and these import permits were for corned beef packaged by one of the Brazilian companies implicated in the meat scandal. We also know that import permits were issued to one local company for chicken nuggets from Brazil”.

“Until further notice, the Chief Veterinary Office will issue no permit for the importation of processed meat products from Brazil. This includes corned beef and chicken nuggets”.

Brazil’s president said Tuesday that a scandal over sale of expired meat is an “economic embarrassment” and Hong Kong joined several countries in suspending some meat imports from the South American nation.

President Michel Temer sought to downplay the scandal, calling it a “fuss” and noting that only three of the more than 4,000 meatpacking plants in Brazil have been forced to close.

Still, he acknowledged that it has caused “an economic embarrassment for the country” as he spoke to a conference organized by the Council of the Americas.

The European Union, mainland China and Chile have halted some meat imports from Brazil, a major blow to the struggling economy of a country that is among the world’s largest exporters of meat.

Minister Rambharat said that shortly,  the public would be advised about action to be taken regarding Brazilian meat products- particularly corned beef already in Trinidad and Tobago. Many of the well-known brands on the local supermarket shelves originate from Brazil.

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