The General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) reported its decision to ban imports from two Brazilian meat plants that until July 4 were authorized to export pork to China

The information was reported by Reuters, which opened its report stating that “China has suspended imports from two Brazilian pork plants owned by meatpackers JBS SA and BRF SA, according to the Chinese customs authority, as it cracks down on meat shipments amid concerns about the new coronavirus.”

Although the brief GACC report does not clarify the cause of the new ban, it is an open secret that these surprising measures are associated with the fact that Brazil currently suffers the second highest level of COVID-19 infections in the world, only surpassed by the United States.

“China is the largest buyer of Brazilian pork, beef and chicken. It has requested that meat exporters globally certify their products are coronavirus-free, which BRF, JBS, and other Brazilian meatpackers have already done.” Reuters reported. This recent Chinese measure not only affects meats, but also the plant-based foods produced in those facilities.

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One of the pork plants banned by China belongs to BRF and it is located in Lajeado; the second one belongs to Seara (owned by JBS SA) and it is located in Tres Passos. Both plants are situated in Rio Grande do Sul state, in southern Brazil.

A total of six meat plants in Brazil have been blocked from exporting to China, a country whose government appears to be linking food as a potential transmitter of COVID-19, despite the fact that no medical entity supports such a hypothesis.

Niether of meat companies affected by the Chinese bans have offered comment on the situation. 

View our continuing coverage of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.