Business Ethics & Corporate Crime Research Universidade de São Paulo
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USP Analyzes: Food safety

Food sanitary control is the theme of USP Analisa

A major part of the Brazilian population is unaware of how food sanitary control is made in Brazil, an important process to guarantee the quality of what is coming to the table of people and also public health. The issue gained visibility last year with the Weak Flesh Operation, which exposed a corruption scheme involving health inspectors and meat companies, and more recently with Operation Cheating, which pointed to scams in reports on the presence of salmonella in food for export. To talk about this topic, the USP Analyzes this week brings the professor Eduardo Saad-Diniz and the PhD candidates Victória Vitti de Laurentiz and Sofia Bertolini Martinelli, from the Law School of Ribeirão Preto (FDRP) of USP.

They explain that this control shared between three agencies: the National Sanitary Surveillance Agency (Anvisa), the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama). “There is, in fact, a great deal of criticism of how this model is established. There is a disarticulation between these bodies, a lack of transparency that often leads to a low effectiveness in food regulation in sanitary matters”, says Victoria. “There is also the issue of overlapping standards, because often these bodies edit regulations on the same issues,” adds Sofia.

According to them, the Flesh and Cheating operations did not change the standard of food consumption and did not even bring a permanent concern regarding the safety of the products that are consumed, but in comparison with other operations they changed the thinking about the damage caused. “In the Wash Car Operation there is an invisible victimization. You do not feel as a victim, but you are daily victimized by it. In the breakdown of the Samarco dam in Mariana, victimization is diffuse, there are distinct possibilities of harm placed therein victimizing people, social damage, economic and even moral and social costs. The great news of Weak Flesh Operation is that the damage is concrete, it is on your food plate, which is the great opportunity that we have to rescue the sense of criticism to the social organization of food in Brazil”, says Diniz.

The interview was transmitted on Radio USP Ribeirão Preto on Friday (June 15th), from 12h, and USP Radio São Paulo on Wednesday (June 20th), at 9pm, and Sunday (June 24th) at 11h30.

USP Analisa is a joint production of Radio USP Ribeirão Preto (107.9 MHz) and the Institute of Advanced Studies Polo Ribeirão Preto (IEA-RP) of USP.

Download the interview here or listen it online (Portuguese only):