The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday defended its online pork data tracker amid accusations of inaccuracy, saying the “Pork Dashboard” only includes imports that have been cleared for sale and not those under customs review.
It began publishing daily updates on pork production and imports on the dashboard on Monday last week, including statistics itemized by country of origin on type of meat — flesh, kidney, liver or other parts — and amount of the leanness-enhancing feed additive ractopamine by batch and by weight.
According to the dashboard, as of Thursday, there had been no pork product imports from the US, only from Canada, Denmark and Spain, local media reports said.
Photo: Screenshot from the Internet
However, FDA border food inspection data indicated that five batches of US pork products weighing 108.8 tonnes were imported on Monday last week.
It was not clear from the border inspection system whether the products had been tested for ractopamine.
The FDA said that its border inspection system displays the number of imports under inspection.
Before the Customs Administration releases imports to market, they still need to pass inspections from other agencies, such as animal disease testing by the Council of Agriculture, the FDA said.
If the imports have not been released by customs, then they have not yet entered the market and would therefore not appear on the dashboard, as only data about products on the market are relevant to consumers, it said.
However, it would update the dashboard to ensure that data on pork imports and levels of ractopamine synchronize with those of other agencies, it said.
The dashboard yesterday showed that 47.18 tonnes of US pork and 49.01 tonnes of US pork products had been imported, with no traces of ractopamine.
Additional reporting by CNA
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