Why pigmeat DNA tests are to be carried out this year by IFA

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Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

The IFA pig DNA testing programme will target the wholesale sector in 2018.

A focus was put on the database in 2017 to ensure it is full validated and functional under the recommendations of the Wall-Cullinan report.

That report came after concerns were raised that the scheme was not delivering on its full potential and needed 'tightening' up in areas, including self certification and the testing of boars.

There is a 96pc validation on the system currently and IFA used the programme to focus on the retail and packaged pigmeat sector in 2017, especially bacon.

IFA says that 'mis-labelling' issues are currently at an all-time low in the pig meat sector and now it is targetting the wholesale sector with its IDentigen testing programme.

"It has long been a problem area, with with cheaper imports of pigmeat that has often been disguised as locally produced Irish product being a common feature in this area," it said in its latest newsletter.

IFA launched a report on buying Irish before Christmas and highlighted the pigmeat sector as one area that consumers should ensure they are buying Irish. IFA President Joe Healy said that some retailers were using misleading labelling to lure customers into thinking they are buying Irish. 

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