Meat products safe in SA - minister

2013-02-28 19:59

Cape Town - Meat products on sale in South Africa pose no threat to human health, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said on Thursday.

Davies told the National Assembly that when research about the incorrect labelling of meat products came to light earlier this week, he met the ministers of health and agriculture, forestry, and fisheries to discuss the issue.

"And as far as we are aware, there is no threat to human health from any of the meat products which are on sale in South Africa.

"However... consumers have a rights to know what it is they are consuming."

The DTI was working towards issuing a new notice which would require accurate labelling of all meat products, so that the contents were clearly indicated.

"South African consumers have a right to know what they consume, and we are going to make sure that information is provided," Davies said.

Earlier on Thursday, acting government spokesperson Phumla Williams said the National Consumer Commission would probe the incorrect labelling of meat products.

Briefing reporters after Cabinet's fortnightly Wednesday meeting, she said that, as a result of the research findings of a study group at Stellenbosch University, Davies had asked the NCC to conduct an urgent investigation into the matter.

"This is because this matter may have far and wide-ranging implications and impact on the broader consumer public," Williams said.

Undeclared plant matter

According to the study by Stellenbosch University scientists, goat, water buffalo, and donkey meat had been found in food products including sausages, "dried meats", burger patties, and mincemeat.

"In other cases, even undeclared plant matter was detected," the university said on its news blog on Tuesday.

"The study found that anything from soya, donkey, goat, and water buffalo were to be found in up to 68% of the 139 minced meats, burger patties, deli meats, sausages, and dried meats that were tested."

Soya and gluten were present in 28% of the samples.

The university said the products tested were mislabelled and the true ingredients were not declared on the packaging.

Acting NCC commissioner Ebrahim Mohamed told the media briefing the NCC would have to do its own testing of products to determine the veracity of the claims made.

"I'm not aware how long it would take to get these products tested, but dependent on the outcome, certain actions will follow. We are going to push to get finality on the matter as soon as possible," he said.

The investigation would start with retailers, but would not end there.

"All those in the supply chain, in terms of the Consumer Protection Act, can be held responsible... and will be subject to this investigation."

Read more on:    rob davies  |  health  |  meat scandal  |  horsemeat scandal

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.