BRASILIA--President Michel Temer, confronting a corruption scandal tarnishing Brazil's lucrative meat industry, met on Sunday with executives and foreign diplomats to assuage health concerns tarnishing a sector responsible for $12 billion in annual exports.


  The hastily called meetings, following raids by police on Friday investigating whether companies paid bribes to conceal unsanitary conditions at meatpackers, come as Temer works to protect one of the few vibrant sectors in Latin America's biggest economy, hit by two years of recession.
  The inspection scandal throttled the share prices of JBS SA, the world's largest meat producer, and poultry exporter BRF SA, after both were targeted in "Operation Weak Flesh" along with dozens of smaller rivals.
  Addressing diplomats from Europe, the United States, China and elsewhere, Temer said Brazil's government "reiterates its confidence in the quality of a national product that has won over consumers and obtained the approval of the most rigorous markets."
  Temer, who even took some of the diplomats to a lakeside steakhouse after the meeting, portrayed the raids as isolated, if necessary, efforts against corruption. He sought to dispel fears of systemic flaws in a sector that is now the world's largest exporter of beef and several other meat products.
  He said investigators would accelerate the probe and underscored that Friday's raids affected just 21 of more than 4,800 meatpackers in operation. Only 33 of more than 11,000 inspectors, he added, are being investigated.
  Despite allegations by police that some producers had sold rotten and adulterated meat products, Luis Eduardo Rangel, a senior Agriculture Ministry official, said: "There is no sanitary risk."
  The allegations, he added, were "worrisome from a corruption and crime point of view," but "from a health perspective we are very confident that the sanitary issues alleged do not represent a risk for consumers or exports."
  As such, government officials after the meeting were quick to point out that Brazil's success as a meat producer in part stems from what has been an efficient and highly-regarded system of sanitary controls. They noted that none of the more than 150 countries that already buy Brazilian meat has suspended imports.
  Still, some customers are wary. "You cannot play around with food," said André Regli, Switzerland's ambassador to Brazil, adding the problems were "worrying."
  On Saturday, officials from the European Union said they sent two letters to Brazil's government seeking details about any systemic risks to imports. China's government asked for similar information.
  Brazilian officials said they would address E.U. and Chinese concerns on Sunday.
  On Friday, regulators from the United States, which recently began importing fresh beef from Brazil, said they were monitoring the issue but that inspections at import terminals there should prevent any health risks.
  After Sunday's meeting, the head of Brazil's powerful farm association said he hoped for fast and severe punishment for those caught breaking laws. "We producers are victims of this," said João Martins, president of the National Agriculture Confederation, speculating that the price of Brazilian beef could fall in the coming days.
  In damage-control efforts, Brazil's two biggest meat companies launched a public relations campaign over the weekend to make clear they did not sell rotten beef.
  JBS and rival BRF took out full-page ads in Brazilian newspapers and magazines on Saturday defending their business practices and internal controls. They condemned any wrongdoing uncovered by the probe.
  Roney Nogueira, a government relations executive with BRF, turned himself into police for questioning at Guarulhos airport in Sao Paulo on Friday, according to a BRF spokesman. The company, along with JBS, is part of a massive meatpacking industry that in recent years made Brazil one of the world's top exporters of meat.
  Police sought Nogueira, who was returning to Brazil from South Africa, because he allegedly discussed bribing health inspectors, including one who helped prevent the closure of a plant in the state of Goiás, according to court documents.
  Police said Friday's raids were prompted by evidence that some meatpackers had paid inspectors and politicians to overlook the processing of rotten meat and exports with fraudulent documentation and even traces of salmonella.

Microsoft Corporation

NMS : MSFT - 29 Mar, 2:34pm
65.30
+0.01 (+0.02%) After Hours:
Open 65.12 Mktcap 504.61B
High 65.34 52wk Hight 65.91
Low 64.95 52wk Low 48.03
Vol 8.08M Avg Vol 23.10M
Eps 2.98 P/e 30.73
Currency: USD

Alphabet Inc.

NMS : GOOG - 29 Mar, 2:34pm
829.955
+9.035 (+1.101%) After Hours:
Open 825.000 Mktcap 573.85B
High 830.430 52wk Hight 853.500
Low 822.380 52wk Low 663.284
Vol 61064 Avg Vol 1.49M
Eps 33.290 P/e 29.772
Currency: USD

Apple Inc.

NMS : AAPL - 29 Mar, 2:34pm
144.31
+0.51 (+0.35%) After Hours:
Open 143.67 Mktcap 757.13B
High 144.42 52wk Hight 144.42
Low 143.19 52wk Low 89.47
Vol 4.64M Avg Vol 27.46M
Eps 8.94 P/e 17.32
Currency: USD

International Business Machines

NYQ : IBM - 29 Mar, 2:34pm
174.07
-0.44 (-0.25%) After Hours:
Open 174.30 Mktcap 164.18B
High 174.49 52wk Hight 182.79
Low 173.46 52wk Low 142.50
Vol 1.39M Avg Vol 3.66M
Eps 13.79 P/e 14.06
Currency: USD

Oracle Corporation Common Stock

NYQ : ORCL - 29 Mar, 2:34pm
44.61
-0.08 (-0.18%) After Hours:
Open 44.52 Mktcap 183.56B
High 44.73 52wk Hight 46.99
Low 44.47 52wk Low 37.62
Vol 6.42M Avg Vol 13.38M
Eps 2.63 P/e 21.10
Currency: USD

EMC Corporation

NYQ : EMC - 06 Sep, 4:00pm
29.05
+0.00 (+0.00%) After Hours:
Open 29.05 Mktcap
High 52wk Hight 29.13
Low 52wk Low 22.99
Vol 0 Avg Vol 15.61M
Eps 1.84 P/e
Currency: USD

Nokia Corporation Sponsored Ame

NYQ : NOK - 29 Mar, 2:34pm
5.36
-0.04 (-0.74%) After Hours:
Open 5.35 Mktcap 30.66B
High 5.38 52wk Hight 6.31
Low 5.33 52wk Low 4.04
Vol 8.75M Avg Vol 12.29M
Eps 0.24 P/e
Currency: USD

Intel Corporation

NMS : INTC - 29 Mar, 2:34pm
35.50
-0.10 (-0.28%) After Hours:
Open 35.52 Mktcap 167.84B
High 35.70 52wk Hight 38.45
Low 35.44 52wk Low 29.50
Vol 1.52M Avg Vol 23.78M
Eps 2.80 P/e 16.75
Currency: USD

Royal Dutch Shell PLC Royal Dut

NYQ : RDS-A - 29 Mar, 2:34pm
53.14
+0.29 (+0.55%) After Hours:
Open 52.41 Mktcap 216.42B
High 53.17 52wk Hight 56.39
Low 52.39 52wk Low 46.42
Vol 2.58M Avg Vol 3.43M
Eps 3.69 P/e 45.81
Currency: USD