DNA Results Confirm Half of Pig Meat Tested Not Irish, Says IFA

IRELAND - Irish Farmers Association (IFA) President, John Bryan, said findings from the DNA-testing programme on pig meat carried out by IFA show that consumers continue to be misled and there is a disappointing level of support for Irish pig producers.
calendar icon 21 November 2013
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From almost 300 samples that have been collated and sent to IdentiGen for cross-checking with the Irish boar DNA database, 52 per cent of products are not Irish.

The IFA DNACertified Programme for pig meat was established to combat misleading labelling and to provide reassurance for producers and consumers on the origin of pig meat on the Irish market.

IFA Pigs and Pigmeat Chairman Pat O’Flaherty said, "The idea behind this pilot campaign is to help consumers make informed decisions when buying pigmeat products and to increase the sales of Irish product in the domestic and export markets."

Mr O’Flaherty said the results from the ongoing DNA-testing Programme were very disappointing, with some companies and retailers showing high levels of their product not matching the Irish DNA database.

He said, "It is unacceptable that companies and retailers are using imported pigmeat in their products. In addition, some companies and retailers are relying heavily on imagery and branding that would lead the consumer to believe they are buying Irish when the reality is they are being conned into believing a product is Irish when our DNA testing has proved this is not the case."

IFA will continue testing a range of products and expects those which had poor results in the initial findings to revise their purchasing policies, commit to the use of Irish pig meat in their offerings to consumers and clearly label country of origin of non-Irish product. IFA will make consumers aware of progress, or lack of progress, as more test results become available.

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