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General News of Friday, 11 December 2015


70% of imported chicken contain arsenic – Bissiw

Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Hannah Louisa Bissiw, has revealed that 70% of chicken imported into Ghana contain carcinogens.

“70% of what is imported to Africa and Asia also contain arsenic acid. What does this arsenic acid do? It causes cancer,” she told Class FM’s Ekow Annan in an interview on December 10, 2015.

Dr. Bissiw made the revelation as she spoke about the recent bird flu outbreak in Tema.

She allayed fears of the public and assured that only wholesome chicken will get unto the Ghanaian market this Christmas season, adding that she will consume local Ghanaian chicken during the yuletide.

“I will say that it is 100% that we will consume chicken on our market. I am going to consume Ghanaian chicken. Go to the live market, the live market is where they slaughter (chicken) for you,” the Deputy Minister stated.

Dr Bissiw, who vouched for Ghana’s locally produced poultry products, however, said that the ministry cannot assure the safety of imported chicken even though there are regulations guiding the import of such products in the country.

“We cannot, however, confirm or certify the wholesomeness of what is imported into the country,” she stressed.

Total meat imports rose from 97,719 metric tonnes in 2012 to 183,949 metric tonnes in 2013, registering an increase of 88 per cent.

In 2014, Dr. Bissiw disclosed at the launch of the Ghana Broiler Revitalisation Project in Accra that “we consume an average of 225,000 metric tonnes of meat annually and interestingly domestic production constitutes only 30 per cent of our meat production while poultry imports alone constitute 80 per cent of our total meat imports.”

Most of the country’s chicken imports are from USA, Brazil and Europe.

Meanwhile a publication titled Arsenic-based Animal Drugs and Poultry on the website of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration confirms the presence of arsenic materials in some poultry products raising food safety concerns.