3 Jul 2013

Samoa turkey tail turnabout puts trade ahead of health: Doctor

10:38 am on 3 July 2013

The Samoan Health Ministry's Consultant Specialist Physician on Public Health says the government's lifting of a ban on the import of turkey tails is evidence of it putting trade ahead of the health of its people.

The ban was lifted on Monday as part of deal made in order for Samoa to gain entry into the World Trade Organisation, but restrictions have been added which include a 300 percent import duty and prohibiting non-private consumption.

But Dr Take Naseri says the ban was only put in place five years ago due to health concerns over the increase of non-communicable diseases partly put down to diets containing too much high fat meat.

"Samoa is in an NCD crisis. We have a lot of cases that are referred over to New Zealand due to heart problems due to high cholesterol, high fat diets. And Turkey tails, which was very cheap, was one of the regular diets."

Dr Take Naseri says he hopes the strict regulations on the import of turkey tails will be enough to keep them out of Samoan diets.