The proven effectiveness of the traceability system operated by the Department of Agriculture underlines the reason why Irish consumers should buy Irish meats rather than accept products produced in countries like Brazil that have questionable standards.
This was stated by Marian Harkin MEP when she urged Irish consumers to buy Irish poultry and other meats for Christmas and to question the traceability of imported products.
“The current problem in relation to pigmeat will, hopefully, be of very short duration and it is heartening that the Irish inspectorate and traceability system has proven its ability to protect the interests of consumers,” she said. “While the level of publicity surrounding the identification of toxins in Irish pigmeat was fully justified it was surprising that a similar focus was not maintained in the national media over the quality and traceability of meats imported into Ireland,” she added.
“The poultry industry in this country, for instance, is being decimated by imports of dubious origin, traceability and method of production, and Irish consumers would do the country and themselves a favour by ensuring that the poultry they buy for Christmas and throughout the year is genuinely Irish,” she said.
The failure of the EU veterinary office, which is based in Ireland, to properly insist on necessary standards for imported beef from Brazil indicates the difficulty in obtaining adequate assurance on the quality of meat products from that country, Marian Harkin stressed.
She concluded: “Because of that, millions of chicken fillets were being imported into Ireland from Brazil which were not subjected to the same strict inspection standards required of Irish poultry producers. Irish consumers needed to be much better informed on this issue and when the headlines about the current scare disappear they should be replaced with a focus on what was a serious and ongoing deficit of consumer information on imported meat products.”