SAO PAULO, April 4 The Brazilian Agriculture
Ministry has authorized three meat processors to resume exports
after an audit concluded there were no irregularities at their
facilities, according to a statement.
A total of 21 meat-packers was blacklisted after a federal
investigation accused company executives and food inspectors of
corruption, raising concerns over the quality of the meat sold
in domestic and foreign markets.
Six of the plants targeted in the government's audit
suspended production, the statement said. After no
irregularities were found in three, they were authorized to
resume foreign sales.
The companies which benefited from the lifting of the ban
were FrigoSantos, Breyer & Cia and Argus, the government said in
a statement late on Monday.
However, 18 remain forbidden to export pending the end of
the audit, the statement said.
On March 17, the federal police investigation of government
sanitation inspectors prompted large importers such as China and
Hong Kong to ban Brazil's meat products temporarily.
Both countries have now resumed imports following assurances
from Brazilian President Michel Temer's government that there
was no problem with the quality of meat and the investigation
was focused solely on corruption.
The probe implicated small and large meat-packers including
companies likes BRF SA and JBS SA. JBS and
BRF both strongly denied any wrongdoing and insisted there is no
problem with the quality of their products.
Brazilian fresh beef exports fell 2 percent in March from a
year ago, according to Trade Ministry data, but the government
said the drop was not due to the scandal.
(Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by David Gregorio)