JBS, the world’s largest beef processor, is under investigation by Brazil’s federal prosecutor’s office for corruption, reports Reuters.
The firm, along with other meatpackers and leather companies including Bihl, Margen and Curtume Nossa Senhora Aparecida, is under investigation for “bribing of public officials, racketeering, corruption, fraud and collusion,” according to a representative at the federal prosecutor’s office.
Among the allegations: JBS paid inspectors to ignore health and safety violations.
Several people from the company are in police custody. A sting operation has netted a total of 22 people from the cattle industry so far, reports Reuters.
The Brazilian cattle industry is already under fire after an expose by the environmental activist group Greenpeace, which linked illegal rainforest clearing for beef production of some of the world’s most prominent brands.
(06/13/2009) The Work Bank’s private lending arm has withdrawn a $90 million loan to Brazilian cattle giant Bertin, following Greenpeace’s release of a report linking Bertin to illegal deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, report environmental groups, Friends of the Earth-Brazil and Greenpeace. The loan, granted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in March 2007, was to expand Bertin’s meat-processing in the Brazilian Amazon. At the time, the IFC promoted the loan as a way to promote environmentally responsible beef production in the Amazon, although environmental groups — including Friends of the Earth-Brazil and Greenpeace — criticized the move.
(06/12/2009) Brazil’s three largest supermarket chains, Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Pão de Açúcar, will suspend contracts with suppliers found to be involved in Amazon deforestation, reports O Globo. The decision, announced at a meeting of the Brazilian Association of Supermarkets (Abras) this week, comes less than two weeks after Greenpeace’s exposé of the Amazon cattle industry. The report, titled Slaughtering the Amazon, linked some of the world’s most prominent brands — including Nike, Toyota, Carrefour, Wal-Mart, and Johnson & Johnson, among dozens of others — to destruction of the Amazon rainforest for cattle pasture.