25 tons of ‘Mad Cow’ meat from Ireland sold in Cebu

- by Freeman News Service -
CEBU CITY — At least one shipment of frozen boneless beef from Ireland managed to enter Cebu and hit the market even after the ban on European meat products came into effect.

This importation, involving 25,755.66 kilos of Irish beef, was the second made by Monterey Foods Corp., arriving in Cebu in November 2000 or more than a month after the implementation in September of that year of a ban on meat sourced from Europe.

Edson Yu, the franchise management head of Monterey for Central and Eastern Visayas, admitted that the second shipment was sold in the market raw while a portion was processed and sold as longganisa.

The ban on European meat came into effect following the spread of "Mad Cow Disease " among cattle herds in Britain, Ireland, France and other European countries.

Monterey actually imported Irish beef three times since the effectivity of the ban, according to Leonardo Abay-Abay, owner of the Abay-Abay Customs Brokerage Company, the broker of Monterey.

Abay-Abay presented documents showing the importations of Irish beef by Monterey.

According to the documents, the first shipment of Irish beef imported by Monterey involved 26,415.29 kilos. It was shipped by Dawn Meats ( Exports ) Ltd. with address at Carrolls Cross, Kilmacthomas County, Waterfold, Republic of Ireland.

The Abay-Abay documents showed the shipment arrived in Cebu on the freighter Hyundai General on Nov. 24, 2000 or two months after the September ban and was released three days later.

There is some confusion, however, as to whether the meat in this first shipment really hit the market.

Dr. Amelia Almirante, the veterinary quarantine officer of the Bureau of Animal Industry, insists that Monterey’s first shipment never got unloaded but was sent back to Ireland.

But Abay-Abay is sticking to his documents which say the first shipment did arrive in Cebu. He insists his company in fact paid more than P600,000 in customs duties for the first shipment.

What is clear is that the second Irish beef importation of Monterey has entered the market, as Monterey itself has admitted.

This second shipment is reflected in the Abay-Abay documents as involving 25,755.66 kilos and was shipped by Agra Trading House with address at Temple Road, Blackrock County, Dublin, Ireland. It arrived in Cebu on Dec. 8, 2000 or three months after the September ban on board the freighter Ever Reward and was released on Dec. 28, 2000.

A third shipment which arrived only last January was seized by Customs when Philippine authorities refused to clear it owing to a conflict in documentation.

It involved 25,451.16 kilos of frozen boneless Irish beef and arrived in Cebu on Jan. 11 from Ireland via Singapore.










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