The Cambodian Livestock Raiser Association (CLRA) has issued a statement denying reports that CP Cambodia’s pork and poultry products are unsafe for consumption, calling the articles “fake news”.
The Charoen Pokphand Group (CP) is a Thai conglomerate based in Bangkok. It is Thailand’s largest private company and one of world’s largest conglomerates.
According to the association’s statement, in the last few days, people have been sharing posts on Facebook that falsely claim that CLRA has issued a 6-month ban on CP’s pork and chicken products.
The widely-shared posts claim consuming these products may lead to death in less than nine days, and allege that seven CP employees have already died after ingesting meat produced by the company, according to CLRA.
The association describes the reports as “fake news” that are “causing serious concern among our people and impacting the livelihoods of farmers and the industry as a whole.”
“The association would like to inform the public that there is no virus outbreak in the livestock and poultry industry that can harm people’s health as it was reported on social media,” the statement reads.
CLRA president Srun Pov told Khmer Times that letters have already been sent to all association members nationwide informing them that the reports were fake and that they were created by a former CP employee bent on defaming the company.
“The news is affecting people’s feelings so we needed to take immediate action. We told our members that there wasn’t an outbreak.
“Now, we are working with CP Cambodia and all our members to follow up on the issue. From what I know, the person responsible for this is a former employee of CP Cambodia.
“If we find them, we will pursue legal action,” he added.
CP issued a separate statement on the same day.
“CP Cambodia would like to clarify that the news is fake,” the company said.
“The reports shared on social media are actually translations [into Khmer] of an old news report from 2015 originally written in Thai. The person who created this news in 2015 is already in jail,” CP said.
“The company would like to ask all Cambodians to stop sharing these posts immediately,” CP said, warning that “the company will take legal action against anyone who shares these defamatory posts.”
“CP guarantees that all its products meet high quality, hygiene, and safety standards. Our environmental footprint is always small and we have a strong commitment towards the communities in which we work.”
Tan Phanara, director for Animal Health and Production Department, also denied the existence of any type of outbreak in the local meat industry.
“We don’t know where these fake news came from or why anyone would do that,” he said. “These type of news can influence people’s decisions, and particularly affect the lives of those raising the animals.”
According to Mr Pov, Cambodians consume more than 5,000 pigs a day, each weighing about 100 kilograms. CLRA members produce only 4,000 pigs, which means about 1,000 specimens are imported every day to meet domestic demand.