The Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (PAMPI) is wary over the Philippines’ imposition of a ban on Brazilian beef products, a temporary measure to prevent Mad Cow disease or Atypical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) from entering the country.
To protect consumers, the Department of Agriculture (DA) issued Memorandum Order (MO) 54, banning the importation of live cattle and meat and meat products derived from cattle coming from Brazil.
This was after the veterinary authorities of Brazil reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) a Mad Cow disease outbreak in the states of Mato Grosso and Minais Gerais, Brazil last September 3.
“BSE is a zoonotic disease and there are studies showing that the atypical type of BSE or Mad Cow Disease may pose a risk to consumers due to BSE's assumed link with the variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in humans,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said.
PAMPI, however, warned that such a ban could result in the increase in the retail prices of processed meat in the Philippines.
“With the ban, meat processors will be forced to use higher priced beef from suppliers such as Australia, Ireland and the US,” PAMPI said. “Hence, the increased cost of beef raw material for processed meats will be passed on to consumers in terms of higher prices, while the ban on Brazilian beef is in effect.”
Brazil is currently the Philippines’ top source of imported beef, accounting for 40 percent of the country’s annual beef imports.