AUGUST 6, 2018- DA TO PENALIZE SUPERMARKET CHAIN FOR RETAILING MDM (MECHANICALLY DEBONED MEAT)
A source said in an interview that DA may soon ask South Supermarket to explain why they have been selling MDM. A DA Circular earlier issued by former Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala showed that for hygienic handling practices, MDM or Mechanically Separated Meat (MSM) shall be used only by accredited meat processors in the manufacture of heat treated products. In a letter that was also sent to DA, Philippine Association of Meat Processors, Inc. (PAMPI) wrote South Supermarket to immediately pull out MDM products from its shelves. Founded in 1968, South Supermarket is a local supermarket chain located in different locations in Metro Manila and nearby provinces. It has branches in Laguna, Bulacan, Pasig, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, and Marikina. Buencamino argued that there appears to be no record that South Supermarket is an importer of MDM. Thus, an accredited importer, whether processor or trader, could be the source of the MDM at South Supermarket. The local production of MDM is not yet significant. Thus, most of the country’s supply of this product is still being imported from countries like the United States. Right now, there is an issue whether to keep tariff rates on MDM at 5 percent or raise it back to 40 percent. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) already expressed its intention to keep the tariff at 5 percent since adjusting the rates could result to increase in prices.