CHINESE authorities have seized more than 23 tonnes
of frozen Irish pork found to be contaminated with dioxin and have ordered
its return to Ireland,
the State media agency, Xinhua, said yesterday.
pork has been banned from China
since the recall of the product on December 6th last, and the weekend
report highlights the difficulties involved in the recall since the dioxin
pork was imported by a company in the city of Suzhou in October, the official Xinhua
news agency said, adding that inspectors sealed the pork and ordered the
company to send it back.
Irish Food Board confirmed it had met the Chinese Health Authorities in Beijing on January
16th to brief them on the recall and they appeared satisfied with the
arrangement. The assumption had to be that the pork was part of the
consignments which were covered by the recall.
Thursday last a Dáil committee investigating the
dioxin scare was told significant quantities of pigmeat
were still being held abroad, and ability to deal with the problem would
determine future trade in these markets.
Cormac Healy, director of the Irish Association of Pigmeat Processors, said China, South
Africa and South Korea were still refusing
to take Irish pork.
maintenance of our reputation in the marketplace and our ability to retain
important customers for Irish pigmeat is equally
dependent on how the entire recall process is handled, he told the
Joint Oireachtas Agriculture Committee.
Kelly, director of Food and Drink Industry Ireland, said seven weeks on
from the initial recall there was still significant confusion in export
markets about procedures for verification and disposal of product.
ongoing confusion has the potential to disrupt hard won supply contracts
and reputation and needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency, he said.
Bord Bia s chief executive, Aiden
Cotter, said there was a reluctance in Britain and continental Europe
to source Irish pigmeat product in the short term
due to uncertainty over the operation of the recall, and compensation for
the affected product. The speed at which the product recall can be
completed therefore is a significant issue. Once all recalled product has
been removed from the marketplace, trade can then build further, he said.
Reuters report noted China
s food safety scandals in recent years, including the mass contamination of
infant formula with melamine, which is believed to have caused the deaths
of at least six babies and made thousands ill.
Beijing also likes to point out this is a
global issue in which China
is a victim too of poor quality imports, it concluded.
Department of Agriculture has confirmed it has removed four cattle herds
comprising 750 cattle which were exposed to the contaminated feed. The process
of killing and destroying what is expected to be 4,500 cattle in total
authorities have slaughtered and destroyed 100,000 pigs and work is
continuing to remove another 30,000 pigs, mainly sows.