ROTTEN MEAT FROM BRAZIL
Rotten meat from Brazil
Around 33 government officials have been suspended, three slaughterhouses closed and 21 plants placed under government inspection following a scandal involving meat that was never checked for hygiene standards.
Brazil’s federal police raided meat factories across six states following allegations of bribery of politicians and health inspectors to secure approval for food safety and export certificates for unchecked meat. The scandal could result in losses across Brazil’s agribusiness supply chain amounting to more than Us$4,8-billion.
Fellow BRICS country Russia has enhanced laboratory controls over meat imported from Brail but is reportedly taking no other action as of the 21 companies implicated in the controversy, only one has been supplying meat to Russia.
While other countries
around the world moved to quickly exclude Brazilian meat from their shelves, the Brazilian government’s efforts at normalizing trade has seen bans lifted by China, Egypt, Chile and Hong Kong.¡
Bird flu infects people in China
Six new human infections of the deadly H7N9 strain of avian influenza have been reported in China, with one person dying of the disease. Human cases of the H7N9 virus, first detected in China 4 years ago, have suddenly increased since December 2016. It is estimated, that as of early March 2017, there have been more reported human cases of influenza A (H7N9) than those caused by other types of avian influenza viruses (H5N1, H5N6, etc.) combined.
After live markets in Hunan province were shut in February, these new cases were reported in late March. More than 170 000 birds have been culled in the province since the first outbreak was detected on a commercial farm with about 30 000 infected birds.¡
No to Croatian birds
Following an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Croatia, the United Arab Emirates has banned imports of several live bird and poultry products from that country.
Thermally treated products however, including meat and treated eggs, can still be imported as these do not fall under the new trade restriction.
Several bird flu outbreaks have hit Croatia since late last year, including the H5N8 strain. More recently, an outbreak of the deadly H5N5 virus, which the OIE reports was detected on several farms, led to the culling of hundreds of birds to try halt the spread of the disease.
Bird flu continues to ravage USA
Georgia is the latest US state to report an outbreak of bird flu – the first time ever that the virus has been detected in the state. This brings to four the total number of states affected by the disease, including Kentucky, Alabama and Tennessee.
While the outbreak has been classified as the low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) H7, with thousands of birds culled at a commercial poultry enterprise in Chattooga County, it poses a financial risk to major producers like Pilgrim’s Pride, Cargill and Tyson Foods, all of which have meat operations in the state.¡→