THE PHILIPPINES has partially lifted a ban on poultry imports from Brazil in the form of mechanically-deboned meat (MDM).
In a memorandum order Monday, Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said poultry MDM from Brazil is now allowed after Brazilian authorities submitted documents detailing measures taken to prevent the meat from being infected with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Mr. Dar said that Brazilian authorities also submitted assurances on infection control and occupational safety and health procedures at its poultry plants.
The DA said only foreign meat plants with zero cases of COVID-19 infection among workers will be allowed to export MDM to the Philippines.
Further, such imports must have additional documentation in the veterinary health certificate and must have a safe handling label.
“All shipments into the country not complying with the conditions shall be confiscated by DA Veterinary Quarantine Officers/Inspectors at all major ports of entry,” according to the memorandum order.
In a statement, the Philippine Association of Meat Processors, Inc. (PAMPI) said it welcomed the lifting of the ban.
PAMPI President Felix O. Tiukinhoy, Jr. said the industry can now arrange contracts with its suppliers in Brazil.
“We recognize that the ban was lifted because the DA and the Brazil Ministry of Agriculture worked together to address issues related to food safety in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic engulfing Brazil,” Mr. Tiukinhoy said.
The ban was imposed on Aug. 14 after China claimed to have found traces of COVID-19 in chicken from Brazil.
Brazil accounts for nearly 20% of Philippine poultry meat imports. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave