Meat from the new New Zealand market hit with meat smuggling has been imported from China, sparking fears for the health of New Zealanders.
Key points:New Zealand beef and pork imports have spiked since a major beef ban was introduced in 2014Mexican meats have become popular for the New Zealand consumerA new export market for the meat has been set up in JapanThe move comes after Japan’s import ban on imports of meat from New Zealand came into effect earlier this year, affecting imports of some imported meats.
Now New Zealand Customs is considering whether it is right to import the meat, which has been found to be adulterated, according to the country’s National Farmers Union.
The market is now run by the New York-based Beef and Pork Council, which is based in the United States.
The council said it had been in contact with New Zealand customs authorities.
“There are concerns about the adulteration of meat in Japan,” an NFU spokesman told Al Jazeera.
“The NZC Council has been in discussions with New York customs for the past week.”
Our concerns are that this is not acceptable.
“New Zealand meat and dairy industries have been hit by a spike in imports of New Zealander beef and lamb.”
It is a serious concern that this has happened,” the NFU’s spokesman said.”
I think the concern is that this may have happened at the moment because of the [New Zealand Beef and Lamb Export Promotion] agreement and also with the import ban that was introduced this year.
“They’re both having an impact on the meat industry in New Zealand.”
According to the NFB, New Zealand beef exports have increased by nearly 500 per cent in the past year, while pork exports have soared by almost 100 per cent.
“A lot of people are going to be looking at what the impact of that will be for the industry in terms of jobs and the livelihoods of New Kiwis,” NFU spokesperson Alex O’Sullivan said.
In response to the recent import ban, the NZC council is looking at the potential for New Zealand-made beef and meat products to be exported in the future.
“We will be consulting with customs and our supplier in Japan to see if we should be exporting beef or pork to Japan in the next 12 months,” O’Suilleigh said.
Japan has been the target of a major meat and pork smuggling scandal in the US that resulted in the deaths of at least four people.
The US government last year suspended New Zealand imports of Japanese beef and poultry products, but New Zealand Meat and Dairy Council president Michael Kalda said the ban had had a knock-on effect in New England.
“For New Zealand, it’s a significant hit on the industry,” KaldA said.
“The [Japanese] market is very large and there are a lot of imports into New Zealand and we can’t export meat or pork there.”
You’re dealing with the biggest market in the world and we’ve got a lot more competition in the market than we have in the USA.
“The NFU is asking the New Zealand Government to introduce a new export control law to protect the New Zealand beef industry.