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 Irish Pork Recall - Europe says we are safe.

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PostSubject: Re: Irish Pork Recall - Europe says we are safe.   Wed Dec 10, 2008 2:10 am

Oireachtas Report is on later - I can't wait. I'm getting all of last season for Christmas to complete my collection.

Link here to dáil debates here for anyone burning to know how it went today.
http://debates.oireachtas.ie/DDebate.aspx?F=DAL20081209.xml&Page=1&Cp=H3#H3

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PostSubject: Re: Irish Pork Recall - Europe says we are safe.   Wed Dec 10, 2008 2:12 am

Brendan Smyth said half an hour ago on Primetime that a Factories notice was issued on Sunday night telling the factories they could process/issue non contaminated meat and just now Dawn Meats was on TV3 News saying that they were told to destroy everything, no matter where it came from

??????????
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Pork Recall - Europe says we are safe.   Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:32 pm

Brendan Smith and Mairéad McGuinness on Prime Time last night. Mark Little made the fair point that FG would have 'pressed the nuclear option too' I thought. Upgrading our infrastructure isn't just about eliminating the need for boil notices in Limerick - aren't these traceability structures the invisible and transparent identifiers that would make our lives a lot easier in the event of a silly accident that perhaps has just busted an entire industry ?


The meat crisis
http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/1209/primetime_av.html?2460984,null,230
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Pork Recall - Europe says we are safe.   Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:37 pm

Kate P wrote:
'country of origin' labelling has been a bugbear of farmers' for a long time, because it allows a lot of foreign meat - particularly pork, to be imported mashed up with some ingredients and turned into Irish sausages, for example. If it's processed and packed here, afaik, it gets the Irish title.
Correct. Another example is that foreign chicken can have bread crumbs added and given the Irish label of origin.

I think Sargent has been lobbying the EU to change this. He launched a postcard campaign at the ploughing championships which Fine Gael ridiculed. They seem to think that the minister can change EU law unilaterally.

Of course, the solution is to tell consumers to ignore the Country of Origin label and instead look for the Bord Bia label, I think. Or the IFA could come up with their own label similar to An Bord Bia's. There is nothing stopping them.


Last edited by eoinmn on Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Pork Recall - Europe says we are safe.   Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:41 pm

youngdan wrote:
As they say on Animal Farm: Toxic cow good, toxic sow bad.
Two points to bear in mind..
a) Beef is far more traceable than pork. So the specific beef can be identified and pulled off the shelves, leaving the good beef.
b) Pigs eat just feed. Whereas cattle, this time of year, eat mainly silage and only a little bit of feed. Is that right, Kate?
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Pork Recall - Europe says we are safe.   Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:00 pm

eoinmn wrote:
youngdan wrote:
As they say on Animal Farm: Toxic cow good, toxic sow bad.
Two points to bear in mind..
a) Beef is far more traceable than pork. So the specific beef can be identified and pulled off the shelves, leaving the good beef.
b) Pigs eat just feed. Whereas cattle, this time of year, eat mainly silage and only a little bit of feed. Is that right, Kate?

My understanding from listening to various Ministers and "experts" is that pork cuts can be identified.

"Country of origin" labelling would certainly in this case have helped states outside Ireland to identify the contaminated product for recall. The plant in Belgium was not able to identify where the gelatine came from that gavei PCB readings from September. Surely that could be rectified.

The biggest problem here was that no one saw a problem in feeding pigs from a plant whose only license was for WASTE DISPOSAL and that the plant was categorised as LOW RISK. This is a massive systems failure. From what has been said, it seems that it would have been possible to identify the product not coming from the farms using contaminated feed (including organic) and allow it asap into the shops. That has not happened and is not happening in spite of the Minister's claims. The other failure was to go for a total recall of product without having thought about who was going to pay for it, and to have put the issue of keeping the industry going on the back burner after the product recall. The excuse that "public health issues" were taking up all their time is risible, as they have done nothing but misrepresent the hazard from PCBs.

There may be a time delay problem in getting EU authorisation to compensate the processors. That would be disastrous, but until Government get an agreement with the processors, we're not at the starting blocks.

Brian Cowen seems incapable of making a decision, if its going to cost money.
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Pork Recall - Europe says we are safe.   Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:10 pm

cactus flower wrote:
My understanding from listening to various Ministers and "experts" is that pork cuts can be identified.
And my understanding is that while cuts like chops etc, can be traced back to a farm or even a single animal, a sausage may contain pork from many farms. Or a pack of rashers may contain rashers from different farms.
Perhaps the rashers and sausages should have been recalled, but the hams left alone?
I know a butcher in the midlands who was not selling pork on Monday, but was informing his customers that the sausages they bought last week were from a single farm he could vouch was dioxin free. Another reason to buy your meat from a "real" local butcher.


cactus flower wrote:
The biggest problem here was that no one saw a problem in feeding pigs from a plant whose only license was for WASTE DISPOSAL and that the plant was categorised as LOW RISK. This is a massive systems failure. From what has been said, it seems that it would have been possible to identify the product not coming from the farms using contaminated feed (including organic) and allow it asap into the shops. That has not happened and is not happening in spite of the Minister's claims. The other failure was to go for a total recall of product without having thought about who was going to pay for it, and to have put the issue of keeping the industry going on the back burner after the product recall. The excuse that "public health issues" were taking up all their time is risible, as they have done nothing but misrepresent the hazard from PCBs.
From what I've read on the-site-that-shall-not-be-named is that it was considered low risk because they were taking food, previously passed as fit for human consumption, and making it into pig feed. That sounds reasonable, but as you say it was a mistake not to take into account that there was other recycling going on onsite.

cactus flower wrote:
There may be a time delay problem in getting EU authorisation to compensate the processors. That would be disastrous, but until Government get an agreement with the processors, we're not at the starting blocks.
Why is it taking Cowen so long to get an agreement?
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Pork Recall - Europe says we are safe.   Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:52 pm

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/1209/1228571687206.html

Best report so far - covers when the plant was inspected (annually) and confirms it only had a waste licence, not a feed production licence and seems to have lacked some kind of EPA licence (not specified) that it should have had.

Why that didn't ring any alarm bells for the authorities still doesn't make sense to me.

Waste in = Waste out.
pig

Millstream Recycling say they bought from a "legimate supplier" of oils within the Republic
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/1210/breaking11.htm

They were also on a Dublin City Council list of firms that take in waste.
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Pork Recall - Europe says we are safe.   Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:28 pm


http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/1210/pork.html
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Pork Recall - Europe says we are safe.   Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:40 pm

Glad we didn't throw it out yet so.
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Pork Recall - Europe says we are safe.   Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:46 pm

johnfás wrote:
Glad we didn't throw it out yet so.

I have to say chez Ard-Taoiseach has been completely unaffected by this whole panjandrum. We haven't been having pork for dinner anyway, lamb, fish and veg have been on the menu for the past few days so with the all clear given, normality can continue to ensue.
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Pork Recall - Europe says we are safe.   Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:30 am

Auditor #9 wrote:

http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/1210/pork.html

That is not very clear - does it mean if you ate pork 10% of which was from the contaminated source you would be fine? I would think most people tend to buy most of their pork from the same place/brand.
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Pork Recall - Europe says we are safe.   Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:36 am

cactus flower wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:

http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/1210/pork.html

That is not very clear - does it mean if you ate pork 10% of which was from the contaminated source you would be fine? I would think most people tend to buy most of their pork from the same place/brand.
Yes I think that's exactly what it means.
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Pork Recall - Europe says we are safe.   Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:46 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:

http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/1210/pork.html

That is not very clear - does it mean if you ate pork 10% of which was from the contaminated source you would be fine? I would think most people tend to buy most of their pork from the same place/brand.
Yes I think that's exactly what it means.

Well then, that's only more bolloxology Mad
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Pork Recall - Europe says we are safe.   Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:50 am

Why is it botoxology ? Isn't th 80-200 times above 'safe' levels only a recommended dosage to avoid ? It won't kill you unless you're eating it for 40 years like purple skittles.
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Pork Recall - Europe says we are safe.   Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:58 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
Why is it botoxology ? Isn't th 80-200 times above 'safe' levels only a recommended dosage to avoid ? It won't kill you unless you're eating it for 40 years like purple skittles.

James Heffron is the only toxicologist I have heard interviewed about this and he is less than impressed with the people who claim that any quantity of pcbs is safe. You can listen to him here:

javascript:showPlayer('PORK_av.html?2459764,null,209')

http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/1208/morningireland_av.html?2459764,null,209


Last edited by Auditor #9 on Thu Dec 11, 2008 4:13 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : link)
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Pork Recall - Europe says we are safe.   Thu Dec 11, 2008 4:19 am

He said the substance has a half-life of 7 years so half of whatever you eat today will still be there after seven years.

He said the WHO has risk parameters that could be used by the Govt but no other figures other than the 80-200 one is getting put out there.

Do you think an educated risk was taken in lifting the ban ?
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Pork Recall - Europe says we are safe.   Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:15 pm

Quote :
Quote :
Quote :
That is not very clear - does it mean if you ate pork 10% of which was from the contaminated source you would be fine?
Yes I think that's exactly what it means.
Well then, that's only more bolloxology Mad
Have to agree. Its nonsense.

There is still some left in the fridge and my better half reckoned it was now safe to eat. I'll eat pork bought next week, but I wouldn't eat the pork bought last week.

Jobs, not health is the concern here.

I think EFSA came out with this statement as a favour to the Irish government.
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Pork Recall - Europe says we are safe.   Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:31 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
He said the substance has a half-life of 7 years so half of whatever you eat today will still be there after seven years.

He said the WHO has risk parameters that could be used by the Govt but no other figures other than the 80-200 one is getting put out there.

Do you think an educated risk was taken in lifting the ban ?

I didn't think the ban had been lifted for the contaminated pigmeat. Aren't they meant to be recalling and destroying all of it? Only stuff certified as coming from an unaffected farm is meant to be released. The beef is said to have 100 times less pcbs in it.

On no account should anyone be told that its safe to eat pcbs - that is encouraging people to eat contaminated pork that is still in their fridge, which they definitely should not do unless it is organic or the source is proven not to be any of the affected farms. The FSA and the Minister are constantly telling us that public health is their priority and that's why there is a blanket ban. Has a single human being in Ireland been tested for pcbs following this incident? In my view, women breastfeeding who have been eating pigmeat regularly should get tested for pcb contamination.

Because Ireland was never heavily industrialised it has very low background dioxin levels compared with other EU countries. That is, or should have been, one of our selling points. In Ireland, we still have an otter population, when other countries have lost theirs to pcb poisoning.

Pcbs affect the birthweight and motor coordination of children and are carcinogenic. They are mainly absorbed from eating fish. If someone eating a lot of fish added a lot of contaminated pork, that would push their levels up again.

James Heffron also said eating uncontaminated fatty food would help to flush pcbs out of the system - unless qualified, that advice could end up with heart attacks. There should be a risk assessment on the population and people who have eaten a lot of pigmeat should be offered advice and testing.
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Pork Recall - Europe says we are safe.   Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:57 pm

How will we know how our exports have suffered ? You'd imagine a rake of people won't eat Irish pork abroad for a short while now or will they ?

Quote :
Pigmeat industry to reopen today after €180 million fund is agreed

TAOISEACH Brian Cowen announced a €180 million contingency State fund for pork processors and pig farmers just after 12.30am this morning. The fund will cover the pork products recalled at the weekend due to the dioxin scare and will lead to the reopening of factories this afternoon.

The money will be also used for the slaughter and destruction of infected animals.

Mr Cowen said he would be working with the EU and processors to get the €1 billion industry back on its feet again. Minister for Agriculture Brendan Smith will travel to France later today in an attempt to revive export markets.
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2008/1211/1228864663264.html

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PostSubject: Re: Irish Pork Recall - Europe says we are safe.   Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:11 am

I met someone today who has worked with the Millstream people and says they were decent people to do business with.

Is there any more information yet about how they came to be using the wrong oil?
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Pork Recall - Europe says we are safe.   Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:34 am

cactus flower wrote:
I met someone today who has worked with the Millstream people and says they were decent people to do business with.

Is there any more information yet about how they came to be using the wrong oil?

Is there an investigation into it ?
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Pork Recall - Europe says we are safe.   Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:37 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
I met someone today who has worked with the Millstream people and says they were decent people to do business with.

Is there any more information yet about how they came to be using the wrong oil?

Is there an investigation into it ?

The news yesterday was full of it, but I haven't heard anything definite.
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Pork Recall - Europe says we are safe.   Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:29 am

Quote :
Two identified by Garda as middle men in supply of oil

CONTAMINATED OIL: TWO MEN based in the Republic have now been identified as middle men in the supply of contaminated oil from Northern Ireland to the feed recycling plant in Carlow at the centre of the pigmeat crisis, according to Garda sources.

The Garda's National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, which is working on the case, believe their account of what oil product they procured from a Co Tyrone plant and how they sold it on to Millstream Recycling will be vital in determining if low-grade oil entered the supply chain as a higher grade product.
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/1211/1228864662749.html

They used some kind of generator to dry the waste bread and the pcbs went from the oil to the bread. They believed they were using the right quality oil ...
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Pork Recall - Europe says we are safe.   Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:32 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
Quote :
Two identified by Garda as middle men in supply of oil

CONTAMINATED OIL: TWO MEN based in the Republic have now been identified as middle men in the supply of contaminated oil from Northern Ireland to the feed recycling plant in Carlow at the centre of the pigmeat crisis, according to Garda sources.

The Garda's National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, which is working on the case, believe their account of what oil product they procured from a Co Tyrone plant and how they sold it on to Millstream Recycling will be vital in determining if low-grade oil entered the supply chain as a higher grade product.
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/1211/1228864662749.html

They used some kind of generator to dry the waste bread and the pcbs went from the oil to the bread. They believed they were using the right quality oil ...

It is at least possible that it was a mistake, albeit a dreadful one. All the more argument for much tighter regulation and more testing. Apparently Belgium's main lesson of their pcb disaster was to do thousands of tests.
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