I convened a ministerial meeting over the weekend to assess the safety of national and international consumers with regard to the quality of the meat produced in my country.
The government has decided to speed up the audit process in the 21 establishments cited in the Federal police investigation.
Three of these establishments have already been suspended and all 21 will be placed under a special inspection regime conducted by a specific task force of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (Mapa).
The facts are that among 11000 employees, only 33 are being investigated. Out of 4837 establishments subject to federal inspection, only 21 are allegedly involved in irregularities.
The objective of the investigation is not the agriculture and livestock defence system in place, whose rigour is widely recognised, but a few conduct deviations.
Read also: SA bans import of meat from Brazil
Foreign embassies were assured that all exporting plants remain open to inspections by importing countries and to the monitoring of activities under the national control system, one of the most respected in the world.
Mapa will fully co-operate with the current investigations to determine eventual misconduct within the agriculture and livestock defence system.
The Federal Government manifests its confidence in the quality of the national product, which has been approved by consumers in highly demanding markets around the world in terms of inspection and defence systems.
Mapa has a strict inspection service for products of animal origin.
The high standard of excellence opened the doors of Brazilian meat to more than 150 countries, with permanent auditing, monitoring and risk assessment.
In addition to the national controls, products are also subject to local inspection on reaching their destinations.
In 2016 alone, 853000 items of products of animal origin from Brazil were sent to foreign markets and only 184 were considered, by importers, out of compliance, often because of non-sanitary issues, such as labelling and completion of certificates.