Mutton or what? | The Jackal

21 May 2013

Mutton or what?

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

Prime Minister John Key says the refusal by Chinese officials to clear containers of frozen meat being held at the border is simply because of confusion over documentation. 
The ministry's recent name change from Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to Ministry of Primary Industries, which issues export certificates, had caused confusion.

However last week the Shanghai Daily reported:

A raid at the market earlier this month led to the discovery of "New Zealand mutton" stored in the warehouse. The "mutton" had no production date or list of ingredients mentioned on the package.

It appears that the meat has been mislabeled before being exported. The issue is that New Zealand was exporting meat labeled as mutton when it's not mutton, which will do untold damage to our export industry worldwide... But try telling John Key that:

He was not convinced New Zealand export meat companies would be financially affected by the delay.

"The frozen meat is remaining frozen so that's a delay in terms of its entry across the border but realistically it won't be spoilt and the chilled meat is prioritised, so I'm not convinced there's a lot of costs here."

So why is the government and their obedient media lackeys still claiming its confusion over a government department name change instead of the real reason behind millions of dollars worth of meat from New Zealand being seized?

The mutton from New Zealand simply wouldn't have been impounded in China if it had been labeled correctly and was in fact mutton. The diplomatic as well as economic fallout from this fiasco could be extensive.