The Philippine Association of Feed Millers said Wednesday the threat by Brazil to take the Philippines to the World Trade Organization for banning the importation of Brazilian poultry meat is uncalled.
PAFMI stands firmly behind the Department of Agriculture in maintaining the ban on Brazilian poultry.
PAFMI said Agriculture Secretary William Dar acted in the interest of the Filipino people in maintaining the ban, which was imposed amid reports that SARS-COVID 2 particles were detected in samples of Brazilian meat exported to China.
Dar had to take responsibility of ensuring that Filipino consumers are not exposed to products that may have organisms that pose a threat to consumer health and safety, according to PAFMI. “The ban on Brazilian poultry products is, thus, a just and fair action from the DA,” said PAFMI president Nikki Sarmiento-Garcia, who also serves as the executive vice president of Vitarich Corp.
PAFMI also called on consumers and industries to support the DA’s move “in the face of the very strong lobby from the Brazilian Embassy which has threatened to bring the Philippines to the World Trade Organization for imposing this ban.”
“Every Filipino should support the DA for its courageous stand against a powerful country’s strong arm tactics. Brazil is the world’s biggest exporter of meat and poultry products. With the COVID-19 pandemic still killing people worldwide, we should all rally behind the government as it strives to stem the tide of this deadly virus from killing more Filipinos and inflicting more damage to the economy,” said Sarmiento-Garcia.
PAFMI said the feed milling industry and its allied sectors—the hog and poultry raisers, corn farmers and the veterinary medicine community, among others—are confident that Philippine poultry and livestock will rebound from the losses brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Asian swine flu that caused the culling of 350,000 pigs and the Avian flu that has hit the local poultry industry. “Though this recovery may take time and a lot of collective efforts from all sectors, we should never doubt the Filipino’s capability to rebound and recover from crisis,” the group said.
“We have to pull together and stand united in the face of these crises and support our leaders as they chart the way to recovery and stave off foreign influences that tend to undermine our officials’ determined stand against the entry of products that may prove harmful to our recovery efforts,” said Sarmiento-Garcia.
PAFMI is the biggest and oldest association of feed millers in the country with some 34 members including San Miguel Bmeg Feeds, Philippine Foremost Milling Corp., Universal Robina Corp., General Milling Corp., Pilmico Foods Corp., among others.