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Samoa’s Consul General pushes back on contaminated eggs news story

Samoa Consul General Fata Brian Kaio

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Samoa’s Consul General to American Samoa, Fata Brian Kaio has rubbished news reports out of American Samoa pertaining to the eggs exported by Sunshine Farm last week.

Fata issued a statement titled “News report of contaminated eggs exported to American Samoa.”

“I received a number of enquiries [Monday] regarding news on Radio Polynesia in Apia claiming that a shipment of eggs by Sunshine Farms from Samoa last week was declared contaminated by border authorities and destroyed.”

The article to which he was referring was first published on Talanei News and broadcast by Radio Polynesia.

 “I called on the Acting Director Mamea Ta’ala at 8am on Tuesday for clarification and it was confirmed that ‘the news is unfounded and untrue’.”

According to the story carried by Radio Polynesia, nowhere does it say the pallet of eggs were “destroyed”, rather the Talanei article stated the pallet of eggs had apparently caught the attention of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

 “It’s understood that the USDA has issued an order for the eggs to be destroyed, after receiving a report from the U.S. certified veterinarian about the condition of the eggs.”

Meanwhile, the House Agriculture Committee Chairman, Faipule Ape Mike Asifoa is calling a hearing today concerning the importation of products from Samoa and he’s asking for a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was signed at the Atoa o Samoa meeting last year.

The importation of meat products from Samoa into American Samoa was one of the topics discussed, at the Apia leg of the meeting.

Since the Apia meeting, individuals have been able to bring meat products like sausages, salt beef and pork from Samoa; however, there’s been no announcement regarding commercial imports.

Acting House Speaker Fetui Fetu said that it was important for the Fono to understand what’s covered in the MOU with Samoa, to make sure that any agreement does not violate regulations of the federal government.

According to Fata, last week’s shipment was released to all clients that made orders.

 “No shipment was withheld or destroyed due to contamination.

(Samoa News was told by one of the importers of Sunshine Farm eggs that they received their ‘order’, per usual.)

 “To date, no complaints were ever received by DoA from retailers/ buyers, since the commencement of import of eggs from Samoa after the Atoa o Samoa [meeting], October 2022,”  according to Fata.

 “DoA is aware of plans by Sunshine Farm to temporarily pause export given the need to replenish large volumes of stock as it continues demand pick up after COVID-19.”

Fata further pointed out that the Ah Liki farm is one of the two exporters to Pago Pago but has not commenced export for the same reason.”

According to Fata the news was never published in American Samoa, rather it came out of Apia, but that is untrue, the original article was published on Talanei/ 93KHJ and carried by Radio Polynesia.