Brazilian govt officials suspended for sales, exports of rotten meat to Egypt


Temer said the plants under scrutiny represented a tiny proportion of Brazil's meat industry.

Federal police raided meatpacking plants on Friday and have issued 38 arrest warrants.

Speaking at the presidential palace, President Michel Temer told the diplomats that Brazil's "government wants to reiterate its confidence in the quality of our national product".

Market analysis group Capital Economics warned the "developing scandal over Brazil's meat exports could plausibly derail the country's economic recovery".

Temer told the ambassadors that the Agriculture Ministry would soon release a list of countries that could have received rotten meat as well as the name of the meatpackers responsible.

Local media reported that companies involved included BRF SA, the world's largest poultry exporter, and JBS SA, the world's No. 1 meatpacker.

The Brazilian Beef Exporters Association (ABIEC) said none of its 29 member companies' beef plants have been named in the adulterated meat products scandal.

The proposed trade deal between Europe and Mercosur, the trading bloc which includes Brazil and Argentina, had been expected to include a more preferential tariff regime for beef imports from Mercosur countries. One Chinese importer is reported to have 160 containers of Brazilian beef on the water.

Brazil is still reeling from massive graft scandals involving state-controlled oil company Petrobras (PETR4.SA) and construction and engineering firm Odebrecht.

The media reports have stemmed from a two-year Brazilian investigation into Federal Government-employed meat inspectors.

Previous year the European Commission bowed to pressure from Ireland and other member states and removed beef from its proposed trade deal with South America.

He said that of 4,837 companies in the sector, just 21 are under suspicion for adulterating their products and only about 30 of the country's 10,000 health inspection officials are implicated in the scheme.

Browsing meats on Monday at a supermarket, Carla Simone Macedo said she had periodically seen products that looked to be repackaged.

"It is an enormous waste".