8 Jun 2011

PNG authorities recommend regulating imported meat

8:02 am on 8 June 2011

Health and food authorities in Papua New Guinea are recommending regulating the fat content of imported meat to stave off the country's growing sudden death rate due to heart disease.

They've recommended restrictions instead of an outright ban on fatty meat like lamb flaps in order to comply with World Trade Organisation rules.

A parliamentary committee's considering a ban and is due to report by the end of the month.

The Health Ministry's advisor on lifestyle diseases Dr Thomas Vinit says restricting fat content to a maximum of ten percent would effectively rule out lamb flaps which are mostly imported from New Zealand.

"Importation can continue but certain meat products coming from New Zealand would be within that accepted level where it's not going to be a disaster, unhealthy for our people."

Dr Vinit says if fatty meat is regulated, efforts will have to go into educating people about other sources of protein as lamb flaps have become a staple food in PNG.