CAMBODIAN border officials have halted imports of chicken from Thailand, following a Ministry of Comm-erce directive.
The directive, signed by Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh, asked officials to halt chicken imports from Thailand because of health concerns.
Thai health authorities had recently taken measures against chicken slaughterhouses in Nakhon Ratchasima province, where dead chickens preserved in formalin – a solution of formaldehyde – were being sold at markets, the directive said.
“The Ministry of Commerce instructs all levels of authorities along the border between Cambodia and Thailand to prevent all imports of chicken products from Thailand – whether the products have a sanitat-ion certificate or not – in order to protect our peoples’ health.’’
The directive also claimed that people who consumed chickens preserved in formalin could suffer skin irritation, stomach inflammation, vomiting and diarrhoea, and that prolonged consumption could cause damage to the nervous system, sterility and cancer.
Nguy Cheang, deputy chief of the O’Smach border checkpoint in Oddar Meancheay province, confirmed that officials had received the directives and were co-operating with relevant authorities along the border to check imported products.
Nguy Cheang added that local residents had imported between 100 and 200 kilogrammes of chicken, pork and beef for consumption.
Hean Sinat, deputy director of the provincial Camcontrol department, said he had appealed to the authorities for years to ban the import of certain birds from Thailand since the outbreak of bird flu.
“The Ministry has prohibited the import of meat and eggs of ducks and chickens and some other foods made from meat, as well as other kinds of eggs from Thailand, because they can impact on consumers’ health,” he said.