Council Of Churches In Zambia Speaks Out On Zambeef Contaminated Products

STATEMENT ON THE PRESENCE OF FORMALDEHYDES IN ZAMBEEF IMPORTED MEAT PRODUCTS
BY THE COUNCIL OF CHURCHES IN ZAMBIA

The Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) whose aim is to promote social justice and development has received with concern, confirmation that  laboratory tests conducted in South Africa on Zambeef imported meat products have the presence of formaldehydes.

The ministerial statement presented to parliament by Health Minister Joseph Kasonde on the findings of investigations on Zambeef imported meat products has resulted in increased anxiety among the citizens of this country who are helpless victims of consuming the meat products in question.

Following this disclosure, we expect nothing less from government except a bold decision to deal with the matter which borders on people’s lives as a measure to protect the citizens.

The Council of Churches demands that government does the following-:

  • Disclose the levels of contamination of the purported harmful formaldehydes  in the seized meat samples
  • Give the public a clear position of the relevant authorities on Zambia’s policies on the use of aldehydesin food preservation
  • Explain the full extent of the health risks associated with consuming the preservatives used in the meat products.
  • The appropriate action government will take as prescribed by the existing laws against Zambeef after it has been established that they have abrogated the Public  Health Act Cap 125
  • Which relevant international bodiesgovernment is engaging in the course of their investigations to establish investigation?
  • Inform the nation on their immediate course of action while conclusive investigations are being undertaken to establish the source of contamination.
  • How did government handle the disposal of contaminated  imported meat products found in localoutlets to ensure that citizens do not get further exposed to contamination

The Council of Churches strongly urges the government to put health and interests of the vulnerable people of Zambia first before the business interest in the name of protecting the economy and boosting investor confidence.

We cannot continue to ignore the raising fear and alarm among the meat consumers who have been receiving conflicting statements on the matter until now, when the health minister has issued a statement to confirm the fears.

The government has not protected the interests of the citizens regarding the matter as Zambeef has not only continued to operate freely by supplying meat products to the innocent citizens in addition to issuing conflicting statements on the quality of their products to protect their business interests.

In the course of investigations the citizens whose health has been put at risk for consuming contaminated meat products expected government to take stern action against the company and not allow them to continue supplying their products and intensify their advertising in order to maintain customers.

The people of Zambia entrusts their lives in their government which has a mandate to protect and safeguard them. The church, on behalf of the citizens demands that justice prevails in the matter and that the interest of the nation and citizens be put first above all others.

Issued by:

Rev Suzanne Matale

GENERAL SECRETARYCOUNCIL OF CHURCHES IN ZAMBIA