Palawan News photo.


The agriculture department said the temporary importation ban on poultry meat from Brazil will have no significant effect on the country’s food supply.

According to Dir. Ronnie Domingo of Bureau of Animals Industry (BAI), an attached agency of Department of Agriculture (DA) during the virtual presser on Tuesday, out of the total 300 million kilograms of chicken meat imported by the country in a year, only 15 percent are sourced out from Brazil.

“Marami tayong bansa na kinukuhaan ng manok, labing-apat na bansa ‘yan, hindi natin sinarado ‘yon. At ikalawa, sobra ang manok natin this year, mga 150 days surplus natin,” he said.

DA-BAI released the ban on importation on August 14 citing Section 10 of Republic Act 10611, or the Food Safety Act of 2013, which says: “in specific circumstances when the available relevant information use for in risk assessment is insufficient to show that a certain type of food or food product does not pose a risk to consumer health, precautionary measures shall be adopted.”

The agriculture department mentioned on its released statement that there were several online news agencies reported that SARS-COV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, was detected on chicken wings imported from Brazil, during a screening conducted in Longgang District of Shenzhen, China.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that there are more than three million (3,109,630) COVID-19 confirmed cases in Brazil and 103,026 deaths, with a significant number of cases among workers in meat establishments, it added.

“Nabasa natin sa mismong mga balita sa Brazil na nagsasarado na sila ng kanilang meat processing facilities dahil ‘yong workers nila ay nagkakasakit, may COVID,” he said.

Domingo added that the DA-BAI will review the documents that the Brazilian government will provide to them and may allow the importation of mechanically deboned meat if the processing was proven safe.

“Lahat ng karne ng manok galing sa Brazil ay banned ‘yan, pag-aaralan natin ‘yong mga isusumite na dokyumento ng Brazilian government sa atin. Kung makita natin na safe ‘yong pagproseso nila ng mechanically deboned meat, pwede natin payagan yon,” he said.