“We are sticking with the government’s official target range of 2 to 4 percent inflation for 2019... It is probably not going to increase the prices of canned meats,” Neda Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon said during the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines-Aboitiz economic forum held in Makati City Wednesday.
“I think the Department of Agriculture has already taken steps to ensure that this one gets addressed so as not to impact the livestock industry,” Edillon said.
Edillon said the Department of Trade and Industry would be included in the recall decision but the sentiment of the supermarket owners must also be considered.
Edillon said the share of these products in the consumer price index basket was minimal
“We will be more than okay,” he said.
The Food and Drug Administration recall includes canned goods like luncheon meat and processed pork—such as Ma Ling from China—with a manufacturing date of August 2018 or later.
The FDA has also expanded its list of countries temporarily banned from exporting pork products to the Philippines due to ASF among their livestock.
A new FDA advisory now bans the importation of pork from Vietnam, Zambia, South Africa, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Mongolia, Moldova, and Belgium.
The move expands the Department of Agriculture memorandum order in September that banned imported pork products from China, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine.
The World Organization for Animal Health said African swine fever is “a severe viral disease affecting domestic and wild pigs.”
While humans cannot get ASF, it can have serious economic effects if it spreads among livestock. The Philippines is currently free of African swine flu.
The Agriculture department and local hog raisers have also asked the FDA to stop the issuance of import clearances and order the immediate pullout from the market of processed pork products from these countries.
In a statement posted on Facebook earlier this week, Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol urged the FDA to ban and pull out Ma Ling from store shelves.
Piñol said that their reminder comes after a returning Filipino worker from Hong Kong was found with cans of Ma Ling. Quarantine Officers intercepted the package but Piñol said that broadcaster Raffy Tulfo “used his influence” to have the Bureau of Customs return the confiscated cans to the worker after she turned to Tulfo’s radio program to complain.
Pinol questioned Tulfo for violating the quarantine order, saying he would conduct an investigation.
Meanwhile, a group of traders—the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura—said it has limited the importation of pork products to countries that have no cases of ASF, such as the United States, South America, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, and Denmark.
READ: Government on alert to prevent entry of African swine feverREAD: Dogs set out vs. African swine fluREAD: NAIA placed on alert vs. ‘African Swine Fever’
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