Some of China's largest food suppliers have pulled Brazilian beef and poultry from their shelves in the first concrete sign that a deepening scandal over Brazil's meat processing industry is hitting business in its top export market. Ivor Bennett reports.
It's not the most appetising stage of the food chain. but Brazil is hoping these images will have consumers once again licking their lips. Cameras were allowed in to film an inspection at a poultry plant. As part of the government's attempt to quell concerns over its lucrative meat processing industry. (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) AGRICULTURE MINISTER, BLAIRO MAGGI, SAYING: "I hope that those who are going to see these images, those who are recording and transmitting this, both domestic and foreign consumers can see that things are working, and they continue working." It's a response to accusations hygiene inspectors were bribed to allow sales of rotten meat. Japan the latest country to either ban or limit imports following, among others, the EU, Mexico, Hong Kong and Argentina. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) JAPANESE CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY YOSHIHIDE SUGA SAYING: "Out of the 430,000 tons of meat imported from Brazil, this only applies to 8,900 tons, therefore we think there will be no direct impact, but as the government, we will continue to make an effort regarding food safety." China is going one step further. Three of its largest food importers now pulling Brazilian beef and poultry products from their shelves after an import ban there too. Brazil is the world's largest exporter of meat. China - its biggest buyer. A dent in demand could cause problems. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CIBC, HEAD OF FX STRATEGY, JEREMY STRETCH, SAYING: "If it does have trade barriers starting to be erected against it, particularly in certain sectors which are quite significant in terms of export revenues, then that will clearly be damaging both reputationally and also financially for the companies and/or the tax revenues associated with that. " No wonder then, the government is trying to reassure consumers. It may take more than this for their hunger to return.