Agri group prods gov’t: ‘Confiscate smuggled poultry products in ports’
MANILA, Philippines — A group of poultry raisers on Sunday said illegally acquired poultry products would most likely end up in supermarkets and grocery stores but the government should seize these smuggled products immediately at ports than at markets.
United Broiler Raisers Association (UBRA) chairman Gregorio San Diego said the port is the “best place” to confiscate smuggled items or catch smugglers.
“The best place to confiscate the smuggled chicken, pork, beef, and fish or even catch the smugglers are at the ports and not at the wet markets where receipts are not needed,” he said in an interview with INQUIRER.net.
According to San Diego, dealers of illegal items put the smuggled poultry products in supermarkets and groceries, or even in online stores and outlets because “once chicken products are in stores, you wouldn’t be able to determine if it’s smuggled or not.”
“The government should instead file cases against importers found with smuggled agri products. There are so many,” he said.
“Unfortunately, there are cases but no one is really being jailed. That’s why it just keeps on happening and smugglers are increasing in number,” he added.
Consumer rights advocacy group Bantay Konsumer, Kalsada at Kuryente (BK3) previously asserted that smuggled poultry products in markets violate government policies meant to protect consumers.
BK3 said the presence of smuggled chicken mean and other products in markets and the malpractice of not properly labeling such products exposes the public to a potential health risk.
“We have received feedback from local poultry producers that much of the chicken available in the markets could be smuggled items hence the non-compliance with labeling requirements,” the group said.
“These improperly labeled or unlabeled poultry meat are not only a threat to the health of consumers but to the health as well of our local poultry industry whose products are being crowded out by tons of smuggled chicken,” it added.
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