The Head of Projects and Strategy at the Botswana Meat Commission, Dr Stephen Ghanie, has allayed fears that eating beef containing a growth enhancing drug, known as salinomycin, is a health threat.
“I can assure Batswana that eating beef containing the drug is not a health threat at all,” he said.
Asked why then the use of the drug has been stopped in the country, Ghanie explained that it was only done to satisfy the conditions set by the EU, which is one of the country’s most lucrative markets.
He further explained that other countries, like South Africa and Namibia, continue to use the drug, which he says is a clear sign that its use was not a health hazard as people might think.
EU’s strict conditions have made some farmers to feel that it was time BMC looks for other markets outside EU for their products.
EU has in the past delisted Botswana for, amongst other reasons, failure of its traceability systems and hygiene of abattoirs. Francistown abattoir is still not allowed to sell its products to EU for those reasons.
It has since been announced by the BMC that they are looking for markets in other countries, such as Singapore and Angola. Botswana has been selling cattle for slaughter to Zimbabwe but this has since stopped because of failure by Zimbabwe’s Cold Storage Commission to settle its debts with BMC.