I am writing this letter to clarify certain points concerning the report about Brazil, titled “Brazil president seeks to calm fears over meat sales, exports,” published in Arab News on March 21.
As stated in the above-mentioned report, Brazilian President Michel Temer convened a ministerial meeting on March 19 in order to assess the safety for both national and international consumers with regard to the quality of the beef and chicken meat produced in the country. The government of Brazil has decided to speed up the audit process in the 21 establishments cited in the Federal Police investigation and their activities have been suspended. All the 21 establishments will be placed under special inspection regime conducted by a speciﬁc task force of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MAPA).
The Government of Brazil highlights that among 11,000 employees of MAPA, only 33 are being investigated by the Federal Police for misconduct in the issuance of certificates.
Out of 4,837 establishments subject to the Federal Inspection System (SlF), only 21 are allegedly involved in irregularities and out of these 21, only 4 establishments have exported in the last years.
The objective of the investigation conducted by the Federal Police is not on the agriculture and livestock defense system in place in Brazil, whose rigor is widely recognized, but a few deviations of conduct by Federal Veterinary Inspectors.
Foreign governments should be assured that all exporting plants remain open to inspections by importing countries and to the monitoring of activities under the national control system, one of the most respected in the world.
The Government of Brazil reiterates that MAPA will fully cooperate with the current investigations in order to determine eventual misconduct by Federal Veterinary Inspectors within the agriculture and livestock defense system.
The Government of Brazil manifests its conﬁdence in the quality of the national poultry and beef products, which has been approved by consumers in highly demanding markets around the world with very advanced inspection and defense systems. MAPA has a strict inspection service for products of animal origin.
The standard of excellence of Brazilian poultry and beef has opened the doors of such Brazilian products to over 150 countries, with permanent auditing, monitoring and risk assessment. In addition to the national controls, products are also subject to local inspection on reaching their destinations.
In 2016 alone, 853,000 consignments of products of animal origin from Brazil were sent to foreign markets and only 184 were considered out of compliance by importers often because of non-sanitary issues, such as labeling, documentation or incomplete certificates.
I hope the actions which were taken by the Brazilian government and these ofﬁcial clarifications would help give a clear picture on the situation to the consumers of Brazilian meat and poultry in all importing countries, including Saudi Arabia, which is the third largest importer of Brazilian poultry in the world.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the editor in chief, his team and Arab News for bringing correct information and convey my sincere appreciation on the efforts Arab News is making in bringing correct information to its readers as well as the positive and creative roles Arab News is playing in the bilateral and multilateral arena.