Countries curtailing Brazilian beef imports due to the tainted food scandal there may have few sources to turn to for securing red meat. Fred Katayama reports.
As health officials inspect meat at supermarkets in Rio de Janeiro, global beef buyers have to figure out how to source the red meat if the Brazilian scandal persists. Several nations, including China and the EU are curtailing meat imports from Brazil amid accusations that inspectors there took bribes to allow sales of tainted meat. Brazil is the world's top beef exporter, and China gets a third of its meat imports from there. To make up for that Brazilian beef, global buyers could turn to other suppliers but each has issues. Australian beef prices are high due to the drought. Argentina is rebuilding its beef industry after trade controls hurt its exports. U.S. commodity trader Cargill said it's too early to know how Brazil's scandal may affect U.S. beef shipments. Back in Rio, some consumers like Karen Furtado wonder if it's OK to eat local meat. SOUNDBITE: KAREN FURTADO, CUSTOMER, (PORTUGUESE WITH ENGLISH VOICEOVER), SAYING: "I am not sure if I am going to buy an organic chicken. And I don't think I will buy meat for a long time to come because I am scared." The meat scandal comes at a bad time. Brazil is trying to recover from its deepest recession ever.