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DA to DFA: stop issuing clearances and pull out pork from ASF affected countries

Photo from Department of Agriculture Sec. Manny Piñol

The Department of Agriculture (DA) urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to stop issuing import clearances and order the immediate market pull out of processed pork products from countries with cases of African Swine Fever (ASF).

DA Sec. Manny Piñol on Tuesday, issued a statement via his Facebook page stressing that his agency asked the FDA to implement a ban and stop the entry of processed pork products, including canned goods like ‘Maling’, from China and 13 other countries affected by ASF after August 2018.

However, Piñol said that the FDA continues to issue permits allowing importers to bring the banned products to the Philippines.

The DA secretary also mentioned that an Overseas Filipino Worker returning to the country was intercepted for bringing in cans of Maling pork luncheon meat amidst the ban.

Piñol said that local hog raisers have appealed for President Rodrigo Duterte to immediately order the creation of an inter-agency task force to handle the ASF threat to Php 200 billion hog industry of the Philippines.

The ASF is a deadly disease of hogs which has no vaccination and no known cure. Although it is not contagious to humans, the disease could wipe out the hog population of a country,” Piñol said.

China and Vietnam, two of the countries worst hit by ASF, have already eliminated millions of hogs infected by the disease with China losing about 30% of its swine population,” he added.

Pinol revealed that Agriculture Usec. Ariel Cayanan and hog industry stakeholders will meet with FDA Director General Health Usec. Rolando Enrique Domingo ‘to thresh out issues involving the continued entry of processed pork products, commodities which are under the jurisdiction of the FDA’.

The DA secretary added that he will also meet with major meat importers in the Philippines and ask them to implement a self-imposed moratorium on the importation of pork and processed pork from ASF High Risk Countries.

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