Brazilian meat packers face fines

Brazilian meat packers face fines for buying cattle raised illegally

Associated Press

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) -- Federal prosecutors in Brazil want 26 meat packing companies to pay fines of more than $200 million for buying cattle raised illegally.

The federal prosecutors' office says in a statement that prosecutors in the Amazon jungle states of Amazonas, Mato Grosso and Rondonia, want the companies to pay 557 million reals ($278.5 million) for producing beef products from cattle raised in environmentally sensitive regions, on indigenous reservations and at farms that have been blacklisted for using slave-like labor.

It said that during the first nine months of 2012, the 26 companies bought and slaughtered almost 56,000 heads of cattle raised illegally.

On the list was Brasil Foods, the country's largest food company, which faces possible fines of 17.6 million reals ($8.8 million).

Brasil Foods said it had no immediate comment.

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