24 Mar 2009

Call for regulation of lamb flap imports to PNG instead of ban

2:29 pm on 24 March 2009

Papua New Guinea's Health minister has voiced his preference for regulating the lamb flap trade rather than an outright ban.

Parliament is debating a bill introduced this month banning the importation and selling of lamb flaps.

Sasa Zibe says the cheap and popular dish has contributed to the dramatic rise in lifestyle diseases but he'd like to see the trade regulated with perhaps a hefty tax and some quality standards put in place.

While he supports bilateral trade efforts with New Zealand over the trade, Sasa Zibe says he suspects the days of lamb flap imports to PNG are numbered.

"The current trade between the two countries is done purely on a commercial basis. We didn't see the significance and importance of how this food is coming in, the source of food coming in isn't regulated properly. Therefore we've seen and we've been advised by our technical people that this food, lamb flaps in particular, is contributing to the lifestyle diseases in this country."