Ronald K. Noble, RKN Global Founder, on Spoiled Rotten: Corruption in the Meat Industry
The people of Brazil have been victims far too long of corruption in various sectors, several of which have been examined here on this site previously. As the third anniversary of the infamous “Operation Car Wash” came, the country’s citizens became privy to a new scandal, this one involving the largest meat-packing company in the world, JBS SA.
Ronald K. Noble, founder of RKN Global, draws attention to this case as a very clear, direct example of how corruption can harm ordinary citizens. JBS SA, and another company, BRF SA, which is one of the largest exporters of chicken in the world, are among many that face allegations of corruption that affects the quality of the meat they produce and distribute and potentially causes direct harm to consumers.
JBS and BRF are two of dozens of firms in the meat business in Brazil who face these allegations that they bribed food sanitation inspectors and officials in order to get approval for the sale of meat that did not meet the requisite health standards for consumption. Some processed meats allegedly contained pig heads and other parts of the animals that were not fitting for the product, and some products were allegedly mixed with cardboard, and even treated with acid in order to cover up the smell of contaminated or rotten meat. Other allegations include the re-wrapping of expired meat into new packages and the shipment for sale of salmonella-infected meat. Most of the meat was apparently for domestic consumption, though some of it may have been exported as well.
Brazil is a global powerhouse in the meat industry, second in the world in the production of beef and poultry, and the biggest exporter of chicken in the world. These corruption allegations thus have the potential to create an earthquake in the global meat business.
Additionally, some of the companies in question are also allegedly involved in other corruption schemes involving loans and pension funds.
RKN Global’s founder, Ronald Noble, notes sadly that Brazilians have had to endure so many revelations of corruption. The good news is that since corruption thrives in secrecy, the public nature of these revelations will ultimately benefit the good people of Brazil, the primary victims of this alleged corruption. The companies involved deny the allegations, and they do deserve due process. Hopefully, if the allegations in this scandal do prove true, it will ultimately mean a more honest meat industry and a safer meat supply for Brazilians and for customers everywhere.
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