Philippines criticized over pork

Published by rudy Date posted on June 30, 2009

PORK producers in Brazil, Latin America’s biggest exporter, may pursue a complaint at the World Trade Organization against the Philippines because the Southeast Asian nation was blocking imports, an industry official said.

The Brazilian Association of Pork Exporters would ask the government to file a protest with the WTO if the Philippines did not provide access within 60 days, Pedro de Camargo Neto, the group’s president, said in a telephone interview.

Brazilian exporters had been seeking market access since 2002 and the country’s pork plants had been cleared by visiting Philippine veterinary inspection teams, de Camargo Neto said.

President Arroyo’s deputy spokesman Gary Olivar said June 24 the two nations were working to expand their agricultural trade.

It was “not acceptable” that Philippine Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap hadn’t signed a document clearing the way for imports of the meat, de Camargo Neto said.

Yap didn’t answer his cellular phone when called for comment.

The Philippines consumed 1.24 million metric tons of swine meat in 2008, according to a US Department of Agriculture estimate.

Pork imports were 109,366 tons last year and Canada and the US were the largest suppliers, according to a March report by the US Embassy in Manila.

Philippine veterinary teams visited Brazil in 2002 and in February, de Camargo Neto said. –Bloomberg

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