Saudi Arabia halts Brazilian beef and poultry imports over food safety fears

A man inspects pieces of beef at a butchery. (Reuters)
Updated 23 March 2017

Saudi Arabia halts Brazilian beef and poultry imports over food safety fears

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has stopped beef and poultry imports from four Brazilian companies over concerns about food safety after accusations that individuals had been bribed to allow sales of rotten and salmonella-tainted meats.
Following a two-year investigation of Brazil’s meatpacking industry, police have accused more than 100 people, mostly health inspectors, of taking bribes for allowing the sale of rancid products, falsifying export documents or failing to inspect meatpacking plants.
“This measure was taken in the interest of citizens’ and residents’ safety,” a statement from the Saudi Food and Drug Authority, carried by Saudi Arabia’s official news agency SPA late on Wednesday, said of the halt to imports.
It listed the affected companies as JJZ Alimentos SA, Frango Dm Industria e Comercio de Alimentos Ltda, Seara Alimentos, a subsidiary of JBS, the world’s biggest meatpacking company, and BRF SA, the world’s biggest poultry exporter.
The companies have denied any wrongdoing and authorities have said that no cases of death or illness have been linked to the tainted meat investigation.
Brazilian beef exports to Saudi Arabia in the first 10 months of 2016 totalled almost 24,000 tons, according to a study by Meat and Livestock Australia, a research service.


‘Absolutely silly’: Saudi FM refutes Amazon’s Bezos phone hacking claims

Updated 43 min 59 sec ago

‘Absolutely silly’: Saudi FM refutes Amazon’s Bezos phone hacking claims

DUBAI: The Saudi Arabian embassy in the USA has denied claims the Kingdom was behind the hacking of Amazon.com founder, Jeff Bezos’ phone, describing the accusation as “absurd.”

And speaking at Davos the Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said: “The idea that the Crown Prince would hack Jeff Bezos’ phone is absolutely silly.”

Bezo’s phone was hacked after receiving a WhatsApp message sent from the personal account of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Describing the claims as “absurd” the tweet also called for an investigation into the claims “so that we can have all the facts out.”