Merieux labs banned from Brazil inspections after meat scandal

Brazil has banned three labs operated by Merieux NutriSciences from carrying out food inspections because of an alleged link with the country’s 2017 rotten meat scandal.

The Ministry of Agriculture has withdrawn the ISO 17025 accreditations of the three labs, according to a Reuters report, although Merieux says it is negotiating with the National Institute of Metrology and Standardization (Inmetro) to try to get the licenses reinstated.

Two years ago, Brazil’s meat sector hit the headlines around the world after police discovered that some of the world's largest meatpackers – including BRF – had sidestepped regulations in order to sell dangerous, out of date meat to the unsuspecting public.

According to reports, the meatpackers used chemicals to improve the look and smell of the rotten meat, which was also mixed with fresher meat to appear more palatable. Several countries placed restrictions on meat imported from Brazil in the wake of the revelations, and 12 of BRF’s plants are still banned from supplying the EU market.

Merieux was also accused of involvement in the scandal but has denied this, saying earlier this year that it had not participated in “any organised fraud or corruption system with any of its customers in relation with the investigations.”

No formal charges have yet been laid in the criminal investigation.

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