IFA National Pigs and Pigmeat Committee Chairman Pat O’Flaherty said the latest DNA results showed that nearly one-third of samples tested in butcher shops around the country were not Irish and the misleading of consumers remains a serious issue.
He said, “Previous DNA testing of pig meat in Irish butchers revealed that over 50% of the products sampled from across the butchers was not assigned to the Irish boar database. In December, we again tested butchers (independent and retail) in Wexford, Galway, Cork and Cavan to ascertain their levels of Irish product. Of the 91 products samples, 26 (29%) were not assigned to the database. Of the 26 non-Irish products, 25 originated in independent butchers shops”.
Pat O’Flaherty said, “Another major cause for concern is that fact that there were a number of stores stocking imported loin chops. Of the 26 products that were not Irish, 40% were loin chops and 44% were back rashers. We are horrified that fresh pork is being imported into this country. This is a new development and one which the consumer would never expect”.
“IFA introduced their DNA certified pig meat traceability programme to stop the blatant misleading of consumers. In every store we asked the same question ‘is this Irish?’, and not one butcher admitted that the products were imported.
The IFA National Pigs and Pig meat Committee is now meeting with the butchers, particularly those that showed least support for Irish farmers in an effort to increase transparency. “IFA wants to support local businesses. We appreciate that the local butcher is under pressure, however that is not an excuse to mislead the consumer on the origin of their meat,” Pat O’Flaherty concluded.