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I convened a cabinet meeting this Sunday to address facts related to the safety of domestic and international consumers regarding the quality of meat produced in the country.

After deliberating in the meeting, we have decided to:

1 – accelerate the auditing of the establishments mentioned in the Federal Police investigation (21 units in total). Three of these have already been closed down, and all 21 will be immediately placed under a special surveillance regime operated by a task force of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MAPA).  It is important to highlight that, out of a total staff of over 11,000 people, only 33 employees are under investigation, and that, of the 4,837 establishments under federal inspection, only 21 are allegedly involved in irregularities. Of those 21, only six have exported in the last 60 days. MAPA will subsequently inform which countries have received shipments related to these investigations, which products are involved and the origin of each of them on a per-company basis. Let us be clear about this: what is under investigation is not the agricultural inspection service – whose rigor is widely recognised – but rather a few deviations of conduct.

2 – reiterate to foreign missions that all exporting plants remain open to inspection by importing countries and under monitoring of the Brazilian national control system, one of the most respected in the world; and

3 – strengthen cooperation between MAPA and the Federal Police to investigate any possible irregularities in the agricultural inspection system.

The federal government reiterates its confidence in the quality of Brazilian products, which have won over consumers and the approval of some of the world’s most demanding markets in terms of oversight and health protection. The Ministry of Agriculture has a rigorous inspection service for animal products, a recognised standard of excellence that has opened the doors to over 150 countries with permanent auditing, monitoring and risk assessment. Moreover, upon reaching their destinations, the products are also subject to local inspection.

In 2016 alone, Brazil sent over 853,000 shipments of animal products to other countries. Of those, only 184 were considered to be noncompliant by their importers, often not because of health issues, but rather due to incorrect labelling or incorrectly filled forms or certificates.

Brasilia, March 19, 2017

Michel Temer, President of the Republic.

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