President Michel Temer met Sunday (Mar. 19) in Brasília with 40 representatives from countries that import Brazilian meat. During the assembly, Temer announced the creation of a task force to bring Brazilian meatpackers under more strict scrutiny. He argued that the problems uncovered by the Federal Police, which conducted a series of probes last Friday (17) targeting the processing plants as part of its Operation Weak Flesh, are isolated issues. The meat produced and exported by Brazil, he maintained, comply with high quality standards required by the international market. The government urged investigators to audit the establishments involved in the irregularities immediately, Temer reported.
“We decided to speed up the auditing process on the establishments mentioned in the Federal Police probe. The units actually total 21 altogether—three of which have been suspended, and all 21 will be brought under special monitoring, to be conducted by a task force [formed by the Ministry of Agriculture],” Temer declared.
In the president's view, the companies caught “masking” spoiled meat make up a tiny group compared to all processing plants in the country. “It's important to highlight that, of the 11 thousand officials in the Ministry of Agriculture, only 33 are being investigated, and of the 4,837 units being the object of federal inspections, only 21 are supposedly involved in irregularities. We would like to make this statement so that you, gentlemen, keeping a close watch on what we're doing [starting Friday,] may relay this message to your countries and to your governors with a view to reassuring them with regards to the news from the last few days,” Temer told the representatives of the countries that import Brazilian meat.
Temer described the matter as urgent, and, to attest to his confidence in Brazilian meat, the president invited all the diplomats to a steak house. “We'd like to invite you all so that, when we leave here, whoever accepts the invitation may accompany us to a steak house to eat Brazilian meat,” the president said.
Translated by Fabrício Ferreira