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Monday 25 March 2019
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TT working with USDA to prevent ‘old’ chicken imports

Terrence Deyalsingh, Health Minister
Terrence Deyalsingh, Health Minister

HEALTH Minister Terrence Deyalsingh says the Agriculture and Trade ministries are working with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to prevent the importation of “inferior chicken.”

He was responding to an urgent question in the House yesterday.

He said recognising the problems created by the absence of a restriction on the shelf life of processed chicken, Cabinet in 2018 approved a new policy under which chicken sold in TT must be no more than 180 days from the date of slaughter.

Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat, speaking at the inaugural National Cocoa Awards at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts on Sunday evening, asked the public not to accept “cheap, nasty, imported chicken” when this country has a strong and vibrant poultry sector.”

Oropouche West MP Vidia Gayadeen-Gopeesingh asked how a container of chicken was allowed to be brought into TT and sold. Deyalsingh reiterated TT was now working with the USDA for the first time to implement new rules.

“I would add...it was left to this government to approach the USDA. And I put on record, between the years 2011 to 2015...there was no action taken on the issue of imported legs and thighs especially, and the importers got 20 per cent of the local market, thus negatively affecting local poultry producers. And we, we, this government, took action in 2018.”

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