Brazil's beef industry is getting killed by this horrifying beef scandal.
Following a two-year investigation into Brazilian meat producers, the country's Federal Police raided several meat factories and arrested dozens of inspectors following conclusive findings that the inspectors accepted bribes to allow meat producers to falsify sanitary permits and ignore expired or tainted beef to allow it to be sold worldwide. (UPDATE: Factories have continue to be closed in the fallout, with three more closing in the final week of March.)
Several companies were named in the scandal, including two of Brazil's biggest beef producers, JBS and BRF. Most companies, including JBS and BRF, are denying any of the allegations they're being accused of.
So far, at least six countries have either banned or restricted imports of Brazilian beef following the uncovering of this controversy, with South Africa, Egypt, China, Japan, Mexico, and the European Union all reducing their beef supply from Brazil. (UPDATE: Foreign investors are also now suing the company in a class action lawsuit out of New York, according to Food Safety News.)
The USDA has stated that none of the beef that they import from Brazil came from any of the affected facilities, but will be increasing pathogen testing and beef inspections to cover 100% of all raw and ready-to-eat beef products from Brazil.
Brazil's government has fought back against the allegations by nitpicking certain aspects of the investigation, such as claiming officials "misunderstood" a wiretap that cardboard was being put into meat when it was actually being used for packaging, or the alleged usage of pig's heads in sausages was legal. None of their statements have contradicted the findings of rotten or tainted beef being sold, however.
Here's to hoping that Brazil can clean up its act and overcome the deep corruption that is marring one of its biggest industries.