Press Releases

Meat importers chide DA chiefnews2
March 2, 2012
Marvyn N. Benaning

Meat importers and processors have criticized Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala for being lenient on warm meat but overly strict on imported meat from US and Canada. The Alliance of Food Processors, Providers and Stakeholders (AFPPS) appealed to Alcala in a letter dated February 13, 2012 to examine closely the scientific basis for the imposition of Administrative Order No. 22 that compelled sellers of imported pork, beef, and chicken to keep their products frozen or chilled and covered with plastic to ensure they are free from contamination.

In expressing their dismay over Alcala’s inaction, AFPPS members stressed that the Agriculture chief did not respond to their letter of February 3 that contained the report made by SGS Philippines on its comparative study on warm meat and imported meat products. AFPPS is comprised of the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc.(PAMPI), The Meat Importers and Traders Association (MITA) and the Cold Chain Association of the Philippines (CCAP). It expressed disgust over what it said were raids conducted by elements of the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) under Atty. Jane Bacayo in coordination with the police and the local government units (LGUs) and the seizure of imported chicken and pork products. The raids, the AFPPS stressed, “are dangerously affecting the livelihood of our victimized retail market vendors”. In the joint letter signed by PAMPI president Felix O. Tuikinhoy Jr., MITA president Jesus C. Cham, and CCAP president Anthony Dizon, AFPPS said the imported chicken and pork subjected to SGS analysis in January 2010 “ passed the microbiological standards prescribed by the NMIS under NMIS Memorandum Circular 9-2008-5.” They said the analyzed samples came from the Commonwealth Market in Quezon City Market. “Of the total 21 samples of various pork and chicken cuts drawn for lab testing, nine samples of local pork cuts out of 11 proved to be contaminated with excessive colony forming unit (CFU) although Salmonella was all of the samples. Some contaminated samples had exceeded the standard reference limes the standard but were not confiscated, “they told Alcala.