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FDA confiscates P7-M worth of imported meat products

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

Courtesy : Dr. Paul Tolentino Floranda

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reportedly confiscated P7 million worth of imported meat products across the country.

That is equivalent to 16,000 canned products.

The FDA has inspected over 50 establishments to check if they are selling imported meat products that came from countries affected by African swine fever.

Department of Health (DOH) Spokesman Usec. Eric Domingo said they have already recalled several of the meat products.

“Actually mahigit 50 na establishments, groceries at tsaka mga distributors ang nahulihan natin na mayroon nitong mga banned products natin na ito. At sineal na natin ito, Nag- seize na rin tayo at tsaka nag-recall, (We’ve actually caught over 50 establishments, groceries, and distributors selling banned products. We have seized and sealed them already and have recalled some),” he said.

Domingo reiterated that imported pork meat and products are not allowed to enter the country. He also advised Filipinos who will be returning home to not bring any of the banned products.

“Anything from unprocessed na frozen meat halimbawa bawal iyon pero pati mga produkto na na-processed na. Halimbawa iyong mga de lata o kaya mga kakanin or pagkain na containing meat products lalo na kung pork ay talagang hindi natin pinapayagan na makapsok ito, (Anything from unprocessed frozen meat, for example, is banned. It also includes processed products like canned meat or food containing meat products. We ban these from entering the country),” he said.

The DOH spokesperson said the country will continue to have strict implementations on pork products until the African swine fever is resolved abroad.

The FDA provided a list of countries affected by the African swine fever.

  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • China
  • Czech Republic
  • Hungary
  • Lativia
  • Moldova
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • South Africa
  • Ukraine
  • Zambia
  • Mongolia
  • Vietnam
  • Cambodia
  • Hong Kong
  • North Korea  

—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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Pork goods from Laos banned due to African Swine Fever

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Pigs are seen in a piggery at a village near Warsaw April 10, 2014. Poland has asked the European Union to intervene in a spat over Russia banning imports of Polish pork and says that the case could be taken up by the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Russia suspended imports in February, citing concerns that cases of African swine fever among wild boars in Poland could spread to farmed pigs. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND – Tags: ANIMALS HEALTH POLITICS BUSINESS)

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) added Laos to its list of countries where purchase and entry of pork goods to the Philippines are prohibited due to African Swine Fever (ASF).

Last month, the agency announced a temporary ban on the importation of pork goods from Laos, including domestic and wild pigs as well as pork products like pork meat, pig skin, and semen for insemination.

The ban was announced through a memorandum order issued on June 21, signed by Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol.

The memorandum also immediately suspends the evaluation and processing of sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances for pork products coming from the said country.

Likewise, all DA veterinary quarantine officers and inspectors were also instructed to block and confiscate shipments of pork goods from Laos at all major ports.

READ: DA intensifies border control amid African Swine Fever scare

Furthermore, entry of pork goods to the Philippines from the following ASF-infected countries remains in effect:

  1. Belgium
  2. Bulgaria
  3. Cambodia
  4. China
  5. Czech Republic
  6. Hong Kong
  7. Hungary
  8. Laos
  9. Latvia
  10. Moldova
  11. Mongolia
  12. North Korea
  13. Poland
  14. Romania
  15. Russia
  16. South Africa
  17. Ukraine
  18. Vietnam
  19. Zambia

Despite the ban, the DA maintains that the Philippines remain ASF-free.

READ: Filipinos urged to buy local pork products amid fears of African Swine Fever

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Canned pork seized from OFW positive for African Swine Fever virus

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, June 14th, 2019

Confiscated canned pork products that tested positive for African Swine Fever (ASF) virus | Courtesy : Secretary Manny Piñol’s Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines — Department of Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol confirmed on Friday (June 12) that the canned pork products confiscated last March 25 at the Clark International Airport have tested positive for African Swine Fever (ASF) virus.

Piñol said that the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) reported the detection of the ASF virus from the confiscated canned pork products brought in by a returning overseas Filipino worker (OFW) from Hong Kong.

The Agriculture Chief cited a report by Dr. Rachel Azul of BAI’s Virulogy Section saying “the viral DNA was isolated in pork luncheon meat and was tested using the ASF Taqman PCR Asssay at the ADDRL,” a procedure validated by laboratories in the United Kingdom and is widely used in countries in Asia for detection of ASF virus.

Azul clarified, however, that the detection of the ASF virus in the confiscated canned pork does not change the Philippine’s status as an “African Swine Fever-free” nation.

“So far, no African swine fever infections have been reported in pigs in the country,” she said as posted by Secretary Piñol.

“The seizure is a warning for the industry and an acknowledgment of the catastrophic threat on our doorsteps. If introduced, ASF would have a significant impact on pig health and production and contribute to enormous economic losses,” she added.

In a separate post, Secretary Piñol defended the Bureau of Quarantine for imposing strict screening procedures at airports as preventive measure against the the entry of the deadly pig virus.

“Kung nakalusot po ito at naipakain sa mga alagang baboy ang tira-tira, maaring kumalat ang sakit sa ating mga babuyan at magiging sanhi ng pagkasira ng ating hog industry,” he said.

(If leftovers of these products were fed to our livestock, the virus could have spread and harm our hog industry.)

“Doon po sa mga nagsasabing nag-o-over react lang kami at nagrereklamo sa mga mahigpit na quarantine protocols, ito po ang patunay na meron talaga tayong kinakaharap na panganib,” he added.

(To those who are accusing us of over reacting and were complaining against strict quarantine protocols, this is the proof that there is really danger ahead of us.)

READ: Ban on pork, pork-based products from ASF-infected countries still in effect – DA

Piñol asked all returning Filipinos to yield to quarantine officers at the airport.

“Huwag na po tayong maging pilosopo at matigas ang ulo. Sumunod po tayo sa mga quarantine officers sa mga airport,” he appealed.

(Let us not argue and don’t be hard-headed. Let us just follow the quarantine officers at the airport.)

“Bawal na po magpasok ng mga delata at processed pork products sa bansa. Huhulihin po kayo at pagmumultahin,” he concluded.

(It is prohibited to bring canned and processed pork products into the country. You will be arrested and fined.)

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DA beefs up security against entry of imported agri products

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

Pork meat seized by the Bureau of Customs at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for not having health clearances |Photo by BOC

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) has heightened its border security against entry of imported agricultural products especially pork due to the outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in some parts of Asia and Europe.

The agency has commissioned 15 sniffing dos at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and about 100 quarantine officers deployed at all seaports and airports across the country.

Filipino travelers coming from ASF-affected countries are advised not to bring into the country processed pork or pork-based products as these will be confiscated.

“Sinabi namin sa Department of Transportation na kung maaari magkaroon sila ng advisory sa lahat ng airlines na bago sumakay ang mga pasahero , mawarningan na sila na bawal mag-hand carry ng karne papuntang Pilipinas,” Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said.

(We asked the Department of Transportation to issue an advisory to all airlines calling on them to warn passengers against bringing pork products in flight.)

“At before landing mag-a-advise na on air na bawal magdala ng karne sa Pilipinas (dahil) may fine na P200,000,” he added.

(Before landing as well, they should advise on air that it is prohibited to bring in pork meat into the Philippines because there is a fine of P200,000.)

Piñol said he would ask President Rodrigo Duterte to provide more funds for the purchase of additional x-ray machines.

“We really have to watch out for this because it could have devastating effect on the economy,” he explained.

“In fact, tumaas ang inflation rate ng China because tumaas ang presyo ng baboy at nag-iimport na sila ngayon instead of exporting,” he added.

(In fact, China’s inflation rate shot up because of the increase in prices of pork and they have to import [pork] unlike before they were exporting.)

The Agriculture Secretary confirmed, however, that so far the country remains ASF free. – (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

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