Meat processing industry probed on ASF outbreak
Edu Punay, The Philippine Star
November 28, 2019
MANILA, Philippines — A joint panel at the House of Representatives will focus on the processed meat industry as it continues its investigation into the African swine fever (AFS) outbreak in the country.
Quezon Rep. Wilfrido Mark Enverga, chairman of the House committee on agriculture and food, bared this yesterday, citing reports on the massive pullout of processed meat in the local market, particularly in Northern Luzon.
“In the succeeding hearings, the committee will look into matters relating to processed meat. We have to look into how the industry is regulated by concerned agencies,” Enverga said.
He said officials of the National Meat Inspection Service and Food and Drug Administration were invited to the next hearing.
Enverga said processed meat in the market should have been tested for ASF.
Retail industry sources said major meat processing companies are pulling their products from supermarkets, raising suspicions they are avoiding inspections for ASF.
Only Mekeni Food Corp. is being regulated by the government after some of its products tested positive for ASF.
At a recent hearing, Bureau of Animal Industry director Ronnie Domingo said the number of ASF cases in the country significantly decreased in the past weeks compared with other affected countries.
Domingo said the Philippines has a culling rate of 20,000 per month compared to South Korea and China, with 145,000 and 97,000, respectively.
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