New arrests in Brazil rotten meat scandal

Brazilian police made new arrests Monday in a probe into a tainted meat scandal that first erupted last year -- this time targeting laboratories accused of covering up salmonella in products from food giant BRF.

"The investigation showed that five laboratories and the company's analysis departments falsified results" shown to health inspectors, the federal police said in a statement.

Agriculture Ministry representative Alexandre Campos da Silva said the department received 410 notifications of salmonella presence from 12 countries that imported the meat in question last year -- 80 per cent of which were in the EU.

Monday's operation -- the third since the scandal was uncovered -- involved 270 police officers and 21 health agents across five Brazilian states.

Federal police commissioner Mauricio Boscardi Grillo said 10 of 11 people targeted with arrest warrants were detained, including former CEO Pedro de Andrade Faria.

BRF is one of the largest food companies in the world, exporting products, primarily meat, to over 120 countries.

The group was also scrutinized during the first stage of the operation in March 2017, which uncovered widespread corruption among food safety inspectors who certified rotten meat in exchange for bribes.

In light of the scandal, several countries have closed their doors to meat from Brazil, the world's biggest exporter of beef and poultry.


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