DNA tests carried out in butchers shops in Ireland have revealed that 51% of pork and bacon products are from non-Irish sources.
The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) said they were “very disappointed” by the DNA results. They also voiced concern over a lack of “country of origin” labelling in many cases and questioned whether or not supplies of imported meat was being “passed off” as Irish.
IFA National Pigs and Pigmeat Committee Chairman Pat O’Flaherty said: “The level of imported product identified by the DNA testing is compounded by the fact that the country of origin was not displayed in any of the butchers stores audited. Over 80% of the locations are part of the Certified Craft Butchers Programme, yet none carried country-of-origin labelling”.
In addition, when the DNA findings were discussed with the Association of Craft Butchers (ACBI), they claimed that some butchers might be supplied with imported meat, passed off as Irish.
“We are calling on everyone that is conscious of buying Irish to ensure that the supply chain is transparent,” said Mr O’Flaherty, adding that the IFA will continue to test products and highlight anomalies that mislead consumers.