Thursday, September 19, 2019
PRESS STATEMENT OF SECRETARY LOPEZ ON AFRICAN SWINE FEVER IN THE PHILIPPINES
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) joins the Department of Agriculture (DA), in assuring the public that raw pork with certifications from the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) and processed pork products from trusted brands are safe to consume and should not be banned in supermarkets and wet markets.
The DTI, along with the DA and the National Food Authority (NFA), monitored the prices of pork products in Farmers Market, Mega Q Mart, and Kamuning Public Market last 19 September. We found that the prevailing prices of pork are around PHP 200 to PHP 220, but vendors say that public fear of the ASF is affecting pork demand.
Meanwhile, Pork meat brands found in supermarkets and groceries certified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are produced by the member-companies of the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (PAMPI). These only use raw materials certified by the Veterinary Quarantine Certification by NMIS. These meat products like canned goods and hotdogs are cooked. Therefore, these products are safe to consume and must not be banned.
We also advise the consumers who shop in wet markets to ask vendors to present their NMIS certificates, issued everyday by NMIS. These certificates are proof that these pork products have been tested and found free of ASF.
According to DA Secretary William Dar, there is no national outbreak of ASF. The virus is contained in select areas in Rizal and Bulacan and the DA is currently containing the situation. Hence, we call on the local government units to ease on the total ban of pork products in their areas and allow certified pork products except those from identified areas in Rizal and Bulacan.
ASF is a virus that is contagious to pigs but is not communicable to humans. But we advise the public to thoroughly cook their pork and other meat products to ensure that all bacteria and viruses are eliminated. The DTI-Consumer Protection Group is working closely with the DA to monitor the situation to ensure that consumers always have safe and affordable food options.