Ban by Tonga of a Canadian food product, is it justified?

Media reports this week condemn a Canadian food product. The chair of the Tonga National Food Council was reported as warning all consumers not to eat the hotdog brand shown as Golden Maple. Tonga National Food Authority is reported as suspending the operation of the local company distributing that brand.
As consumers we appreciate the efforts of the Food Council to ensure the safety of our food, however there has not yet been any proof of food contamination provided to the public that would, or could, justify the blanket ban of a well known international brand. Golden Maple brand is a product sold worldwide by Eire Meats, a Canadian company.
There are a number of questions that arise from this issue,and the answers need to be made as public as the product condemnation has been.
Is it true that the contamination report and resultant activity is based on the claims of one person in a facebook post? Has the health department reported any illness directly caused by this product? What testing results by a recognised food test laboratory has been supplied to authorities that justifies them banning a product and suspending the operations of a local business?
Of great interest, what has the Canadian government had to say about the banning of one of it’s export products by Tonga?
It is essential to consider the situation of the local importer; having their product banned and their operation suspended is a devastating blow. If it is proven the product is indeed contaminated then yes, proceed with product ban and business suspension based on verified fact, distressing for any business but necessary to protect the public.
But what if the product is not contaminated, what if the claims are untrue, what if it is found that the claim arose from the actions of an unscrupulous competitor? Who will compensate the local business for their financial loss, who will restore the brand reputation for the manufacturer? Let’s not forget that this product ban has been circulated worldwide by media.
Henry Garrahy

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