Brazilian politicians expressed ''relief'' after China, Egypt, and Chile lifted a ban on imports of meat from Brazil, country's third-largest export. Fred Katayama reports.
BROADCAST AND DIGITAL RESTRICTIONS~**Broadcasters: PART WITH SOUNDBITE - BANDEIRANTES - NO ACCESS BRAZIL Digital: PART WITH SOUNDBITE - BANDEIRANTES - NO ACCESS BRAZIL*~ Brazilian politicians breathed a sigh of relief after China lifted a ban on importing Brazilian meat. China is the biggest consumer of Brazilian meat. It lifted the ban after Brazilian authorities released more information about a police investigation into alleged bribery of health inspectors. Brazilian agriculture minister Blairo Maggi: (SOUNDBITE) BLAIRO MAGGI, BRAZILIAN AGRICULTURE MINISTER, (PORTUGUESE WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATION) SAYING: "So, we demonstrated very clearly that there was no investigation of insanity in Brazil. So, that helped us a lot, and this news relieves a lot of tension here in Brazil, because we have thousands of containers going to China." Egypt and Chile lifted their import bans on Brazilian meat as well. Last week, Brazilian federal police said it was investigating accusations that meat processing companies paid health inspectors to forego inspections and ignore abuses. As a result, a number of countries issued import bans on Brazilian meat. That resulted in a crisis, wiping off one-fifth of the value of Brazilian pork and poultry exports. Meat is Brazil's third-largest export, after soy and iron ore. The country sold around $13.5 billion in chicken, beef and pork products last year.