After recent reports on the disturbing discovery of droëwors samples testing positive for Kangaroo meat, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Joseph Iita has come out to rubbish such reports.
Following the discoveries of adulteration in meat products in other countries and finally on the tip of an unidentified whistle-blower who named a specific outlet, the Namibian Consumer Trust (NCT) embarked on a task to get to the bottom of things and sent ten random samples to South Africa for testing.
According to the NCT, eight of these came back as not containing only what was on the product label.
However, Iita has made it clear the strict rules and regulations that must be passed before any such meat is imported into the country, a process that requires inspection and sealing of the packaging by an official veterinarian in the country of origin.
Iita categorically denied reports for findings of kangaroo meat for the year 2013 but did confirm the veracity of previous cases.
“According to our own records, no kangaroo meat has been imported in 2013.
As per our records, only two companies have ever imported Kangaroo meat in Namibia-Capital meat and Deep Catch trading.
Capital meat last imported kangaroo meat in 2010 and Deep Catch trading last imported such a product in 2012,” he explained.
The issue then, it appears, is the misleading labeling of products, of which the NCT has found low-income members of the population would most likely be subjected to.
Another inspection will also be required on the temperature record of the consignment’s journey and seal-breaking by a veterinary official in Namibia, who may even request additional laboratory tests if necessary.
This process will only end, and the meat released to the importer, if it has been deemed fit for human consumption.
He also cited the Animal Diseases and Parasites Act, Act 13 of 1956, as amended, which states [in summary] that: Companies wishing to import products into Namibia for consumption must have valid import permit.
The PS asserted that insufficient and incorrect labeling must be dealt with in accordance with the relevant labeling legislations as consumers have the legal right to be informed accurately about the products they to consume.