Company backs SA in poultry impasse with US
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – A local poultry company has warned of the danger posed by such products imported from the United States in the wake of reports such meat contained harmful chemicals.
Daybreak Farms, which is said to be the only black-owned poultry firm in South Africa, thus expressed concern at the US receiving preferential access to the South African market.
“This is deeply concerning and the importation of chicken containing inorganic arsenic could potentially have a serious impact on the majority of our population who consume chicken as a primary meat-protein,” said Chief Executive Officer of Daybreak Farms, Kholofelo Maponya.
According to the World Health Organisation, inorganic arsenic is highly toxic in its inorganic form.
Long-term exposure to arsenic from drinking-water and food can cause cancer and skin lesions.
It has also been associated with developmental effects, cardiovascular disease, neurotoxicity and diabetes.
Daybreak Farms said it was thus keenly following the discussions around South Africa’s qualification to access the US trade act – the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) – which enhances market access to the US for qualifying Sub-Saharan African countries.
South Africa and the US are deadlocked over the importation of poultry into the former.
US poultry producers want SA to lift the antidumping duties on their chicken products which they say put them at a competitive disadvantage.
The company thus said it believed the South African government’s position was a correct one particularly in light of the fact that the Food and Drug Administration of the US, found in 2015, that there were traces of inorganic arsenic found in chickens grown in the US.
It was reported this substance was found in the livers of nearly half of all chicken tested.
– CAJ News
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