"The public is advised to exercise extreme caution in purchasing and consuming processed pork meat products."
The Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently annouced that they are placing a temporary ban on the importation, distrubution, and sale of processed pork meat products that come from the 16 countries affected by the African swine fever virus.
The ban, which was first implemented in September 2018, now includes pork meat products from Belgium, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Moldova, Mongolia, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine, Vietnam, and Zambia.
In an Inquirer interview, FDA officer-in-charge Eric Domingo explained:
“I signed that order. It is a step taken to ensure the food security of our country and make that our livestock is not affected by the African swine fever.”
The FDA further warned in a statement:
“The public is advised to exercise extreme caution in purchasing and consuming processed pork meat products and is advised to only consume processed pork meat products which are sourced from countries other than the above listed countries suspected to be affected by ASF virus.”
Included in the temporary ban is Chinese luncheon meat Ma Ling.
“Yes [Ma Ling is covered by the ban]. The FDA regulatory board will go around and inspect. We also ask the public to report any sightings [of these banned products] to the FDA.”
According to the FDA, the lethal disease is “highly contagious” and can affect the country’s swine industry. The officials, however, assured that the virus is definitely not a threat to human health.
Still, they are taking necessary measures to recall and prevent the entry of banned pork meat products in the country.
Meanwhile, Secretary of Agriculture Manny Piñol also said:
“DA Undersecretary Ariel Cayanan and the hog industry stakeholders will meet with the new FDA Director General Dr. Domingo to thresh out issues involving the continued entry of processed pork products, commodities which are under the jurisdiction of the FDA.”
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