MANILA – A group of meat processing firms on Saturday decried the leak of assumed test results of processed meat showing that samples tested positive for African Swine Fever.
"It's a leaked information. Lumabas ito headline nung Huwebes, (this came out in the headlines on Thursday) supposedly to have been issued by BAI (Bureau of Animal Industry). Currently, BAI claims it was not issued by them but it is actually stolen by somebody and issued to the press most likely for malicious intent, "said Grabbed.
Grabbed said they already have an idea who released the unofficial test results.
He said samples of branded and unbranded processed meat products were seized by BAI from Calapan City on October 6.
"It was just unfortunate that that branded product was also in the same halo-halo sample in (mixed sample that) were collected by BAI," he said in an interview on DZMM.
The samples were all placed in a styrofoam box and sent to Manila. But it was only on Oct. 15, or 9 days after collection, that the samples was tested, said Grabbed.
He said when samples test positive, a retest should follow.
The PAMPI spokesperson said it wouldn't be fair to just name the brand that it was supposedly processing meat contaminated with the virus.
"Naming that company is unfair kasi hindi pa siya official (because it is not yet official). Yes, we are afraid of ASF but then let's not destroy each other," Grabbed said.
This problem, he said, also raises the issue of locally produced pork which could also be positive for ASF finding its way to the market.
The group believes the timing of the release of the unofficial report is suspect.
"If you look back Monday, General [Eduardo] He signed a circular memo that was asking the local government to open up for a products namin (to our products), "he said, referring to the interior secretary.
Currently 66 out of the country 81 provinces have banned the entry for pork-based products. This has affected sales, said.
"It was 2 days when the MC (memo) was released, hindi pa nakaabot sa mga LGUs, pinaputok po itong issue na ito," he said.
(The MC hasn't even reached the LGUs when the issue came out.)
Grabbing urged authorities to investigate the person behind the leak and his motives.
Rex Grabbed, processed meat, Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc, African Swine Fever, ASF, DZMM