IFA ‘horrified’ that pork chops are being imported

Of the 26 non-Irish products, 25 were bought in independent butcher shops

Tests carried out for the IFA  found that 29 per cent of pigmeat products  did not have Irish DNA

Tests carried out for the IFA found that 29 per cent of pigmeat products did not have Irish DNA

 

a programme run by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

The tests, carried out for the IFA by genetic specialists Identigen, found that 29 per cent of pigmeat products tested did not have Irish DNA. In all cases, staff on the butcher counters had told the customers that the products were Irish.

The samples were compared with a DNA database of every Irish boar serving sows to see if they corresponded.

Of the 26 non-Irish products, 25 were bought in independent butcher shops while the 26th sample came from a supermarket, IFA pigs and pigmeat committee chairman Pat O’Flaherty said.

“Another major cause for concern is the fact that there were a number of stores stocking imported loin chops,” he said. “Of the 26 products that were not Irish, 40 per cent were loin chops and 44 per cent 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.”

An earlier round of testing last August found that half of the products purchased were not Irish. Mr O’Flaherty said the butchers fared better in the latest tests “but there’s a long way to go”.

Prof Patrick Wall, associate professor of public health at UCD, has recommended that the programme consider testing pigmeat product in the catering sector.

He said secondary processing, which includes convenience meats and prepared foods, could be a likely method of replacing Irish pigmeat with foreign meat. “This sector requires close monitoring,” he said.