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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.¡→

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