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China halts meat imports Brazil



The fallout Brazil's rotten meat scandal gathered force on Monday when China, a huge market, suspended imports and the European Union called for a partial ban. A charm offensive by President Michel Temer, who even invited foreign ambassadors to a traditional meat restaurant in the capital Brasilia late Sunday, failed to calm importers. China, including Hong Kong, is Brazil's biggest meat export market. Mainland authorities have said they need to know more approximately the allegations that major meatpacking tradees bribed examineors to get health certwhethericates and masked tainted meat as fit for consumption. "Until it gets more information, China will not unload meat imported Brazil," the Brazilian agriculture ministry said in an online statement. It said Brazilian Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi will hold a video conference late Monday with Chinese authorities to offer "clarwhetherications." The European Commission, the EU executive arm, called on Brazil instantly to halt exports by four companies implicated in the scandal, the bloc's spokesman Enrico Brivio told reporters in Brussels. At least 30 people have been arrested in the scandal, with Brazilian police raiding more than a dozen processing plants. Brazil is the world's biggest beef and poultry-exporting nation and the row is specificly unwelcome when the country is struggling to exit its worst recession in history. Market analysis group Capital Economics warned the "developing scandal over Brazil's meat exports could plausibly derail the country's economic recovery." "Brazil is facing a potential loss of export revenues of approximately US$3.5 billion. That's the equivalent of approximately 0.2 percent of GDP," Capital Economics said. (AFP)..

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