'Beef in PH safe to eat'

Posted at 04/28/12 3:42 PM

MANILA, Philippines – An official of the Department of Agriculture (DA) reiterated on Saturday that beef products sold in the Philippines are safe to consume despite recent reports of “mad cow” disease in the United States.

Dave Catbagan, Assistant Secretary for Livestock of the Bureau of Animal Industry, told dzMM that imported beef products from the US will not be banned.

“Walang basis para i-ban ang ating importation ng beef mula Estados Unidos,” he said.

Catbagan stressed that the cows tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or “mad cow” was removed from the food chain.

Other cows that may have been in contact with the disease have also been quarantined, said Catbagan.

“Kung may kaduda-dudang simptomas ay hinahatak at nilalayo na kaagad ‘yun,” he said.

The official also allayed fears that beef products from the US are contaminated, saying that US, as well as Canada, are “controlled risk countries.”

“Ang pinanggagalingan ng sakit na mad cow ay matatagpuan sa spinal column at nerve tissue. Ito ay mandatory na inaalis sa slaughterhouse regardless sa edad ng baka at hindi na isinasama sa food chain,” he said.

US officials said the recent case of mad cow disease was the first in its country in 6 years.

US is second to Australia as the largest source of beef of the Philippines.