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Probe into illegal poultry in PNG

National Capital District Commission chief health surveyor Isoa More confirmed this with the Post-Courier after non-labeled poultry products (cocktails) were seized at a major outlet in Port Moresby last week, which he said breached the Food Sanitation and Regulation Act.

More said the removal of these products came after complaints filed by residents.

He said the products were condemned because of their suspicious nature of landing and non- availability of information on the product.

“We have met with NAQIA (National Agriculture and Quarantine and Inspections Authority) officials over this incident and have indicated to investigate to see how the products were cleared from the Ports when certain regulatory requirements were not in place.

“Our health quarantine team have been made aware of same for their perusal,” he said.

More said they will be working closely with other government agencies and stakeholders to ensure that this does not happen again because of the danger it poses on public health and bio security issues.

However, he said, “NCDC as the City Authority will ensure to enforce all relevant legislations within our custody including Food Regulations to ensure all food products sold within the City meets all prescribe requirements.

We strongly advise residents from buying or consuming food products without proper labels and to report unlabelled food products to NDNC Health division for confirmations and appropriate actions.”

Meanwhile, PNG Customs Commissioner Ray Paul indicated recently that all imported poultry products coming into the country will be facilitated once approval is granted by NAQIA under its laws as the regulator.

Attempts to talk to the National Agriculture and Quarantine and Inspections Authority (NAQIA) on this matter have failed.

Independent Consumer and Competition Commission chief executive officer Paulus Ain added that they were not made aware of this poultry product but in consistent dialogue with the NCDC Health officers on food related matters and complaints, apart from its daily inspections and surveillance.

Ain said the ICCC also have a close working relationship on matters including poultry.

“The inspection on no English label is an ongoing exercise the ICCC conducts regularly, it’s gradually improving but more need to be done to avoid ignorant importers to comply,” he said.

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