China holds rotten Brazilian beef in portsChina | Mar 21, 2017 11:44
The developments represent a major blow to Brazil, one of the world's largest exporters of meat, which is struggling to emerge from its worst recession in decades.
The announcements come despite a flurry of meetings that Brazilian President Michel Temer held with ambassadors and numerous assurances that Brazilian meats in general were safe.
Speaking to reporters in Brussels, European Union spokesman Enrico Brivio said yesterday the companies involved in the scandal would be temporarily barred.
The EU "will guarantee that any of the establishments involved in the fraud will be suspended,'' said Brivio, who didn't cite companies by name or expound on how long the ban will last.
A few hours later, Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said that China had suspended the unloading of Brazilian meats in Chinese ports. Maggi downplayed the move, saying Chinese authorities were in the process of asking for more information.
"There is no Chinese embargo,'' said Maggi, speaking to reporters in Brasilia. "What we have are containers there that can't leave the port to local markets.''