The Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Bob Menendez, British MP Ian Liddell Grainger, and Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Parliament, Norbert Lenz, asked this Tuesday (4) in Washington an investigation into the “business practices” of the Brazilian meat company JBS.
In a joint statement, the three representatives highlighted “increasing concern” about the business practices of JBS, its parent company J&F Investimentos and its subsidiaries in Europe and the United States.
They are urging the US, UK and EU to “conduct legal and coordinated investigations” to ensure “the company is compelled to operate within expected standards of finance, business and environmental behaviour”.
The three lawmakers also urged authorities to “examine JBS’s antitrust and anticompetitive practices to assess whether the company’s violations could harm food supply chains.”
Monday (3), government Joe Biden And it issued a plan to increase competition in the meat sector, which is controlled by a group of major companies, including JBS, which it accuses of raising prices for consumers and reducing the income of producers.
The three lawmakers’ statement states that over the past decade, JBS has engaged in criminal activities and has “pledged guilty to 1,500 acts of bribery” in Brazil, “antitrust pricing violations” and “violation of the law on practices outside the United States,” and has not even paid Now “billions of dollars in fines.”
The lawmakers were surprised that founders Wesley and Gusley Batista still represented the majority of shareholders “despite criminal convictions in Brazil,” and accused the company of “obtaining livestock from farms that contributed to deforestation.”
Considered the “refrigerator of Latin America”, JBS is present in 15 countries with more than 400 production units on five continents. The company’s official website claims the implementation of several programs to develop sustainable production models and protect and restore forests.
In December, the largest Brazilian slaughterhouses, JBS, Marfrig and Minerva, defended themselves against accusations of contributing to deforestation, after several supermarkets in Europe committed to removing suspect products of Brazilian origin from their shelves.
They have been accused of contributing to deforestation in some regions of Brazil, such as the Amazon.
According to the American Genetically Modified Migthy Earth organization, some products obtained through deforestation can be found in European supermarkets, in the form of jerky, canned and fresh prime cuts.
At the time, JBS, the world’s largest beef exporter, ensured it had a zero-tolerance policy for “illegal deforestation, forced labor and misuse of indigenous lands or protected areas”. Ten years ago, the company created a “geo-spatial monitoring system that uses satellite imagery to monitor its suppliers”.
JBS claimed it has invested in a new platform to obtain by 2025 a “chain production without the slightest trace of illegal deforestation”.
*With information from Agence France-Presse
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