TOKYO – Japan has suspended chicken imports from a meat-processing plant in Brazil following a rotten meat scandal, a spokesperson of the Japanese agriculture ministry confirmed to EFE on Wednesday.
The ban will affect meat imports from just one of the 21 Brazilian plants that are under the scanner after the federal police revealed last week that public officials were bribed by senior business executives of meat producing firms to greenlight the sale of contaminated meat in domestic as well as foreign markets.
In 2015, nearly 76 percent, or 430,000 tons, of Japan’s meat imports came from Brazil, government spokesperson Yoshihide Suga said in a press conference Wednesday, adding that of this, around 8,900 tons came from one of the plants hit by the scandal.
Japan will also suspend imports of other products – such as honey – from these plants, and is mulling further measures, added the spokesperson.
Japanese authorities are also considering tightening restrictions to ensure food safety.
Other markets that have already prohibited Brazilian meat imports include Hong Kong, China, the European Union and Chile.
On Tuesday, the Brazilian government downplayed the seriousness of the case by attributing it to corruption and said it has nothing to do with public health or lack of food safety controls.