Pig’s blood on fish

“This should not be treated only as a ‘public health issue’.

Octogenarians are not easily provoked. They are ever protective of their mental and physical health, fragile as they are. Their low immune system is vulnerable to being compromised if negative emotions are aroused. Science and medicine tell us that these emotions could trigger chronic diseases and cardiac, respiratory and other related medical issues common to the elderly. A bad temper leads to blood pressure rising and if untreated angina and myocardial infarction or stroke. Hence, when they cannot suppress anger, it means their tolerance level has reached rock bottom. Muslim elderly had experienced this outburst of anger recently.

A bit of news, pedestrian it may seem in media reporting has provoked the ire of this writer. It was a bad hair day. This may have skipped notice from readers who are more focused on headline-hugging news. It was buried in the inside pages. And in the print media of yore, perhaps along with obituaries.

A report last week datelined General Santos, Philippines says “A group of inspectors uncovered a deceitful practice . . .on which several market vendors were found coating fish slices with pig’s blood to make them look fresh. Plastic packs of pig blood were seized from the vendors involved. The discovery sparked controversy among Muslims and other non-pork eaters . . .”

This has opened Pandora’s box. It triggered indignation and condemnation from Muslims and non-Muslims. It was most deceitful and malevolent.

This should not be treated only as a “public health issue.” It is an attack upon the sensitivity and religious beliefs of some sectors of society. The Muslims, Seventh Day Adventists, and others shy away from eating pork and its derivatives because of their religion.

We suggest that the local government of General Santos City impose the corresponding penalty commensurate to the gravity of the crime. It should not stop from merely imposing administrative sanctions like canceling the license of vendors but also filing a criminal case for fraudulent misrepresentation or other deceit.

Allow me to quote part of the article I wrote earlier about the same issue.

“What is in pork that makes it an abhorrent animal? Why is it specially mentioned in the Holy Koran as prohibited for consumption by Muslims?  For one, it is considered one of the dirtiest animals which thrives on filth and unsanitary environment.  Pig is considered garbage and waste eliminators. . . “which eat its own feces, as well as dead carcasses of sick animals, including their own young.” The scientific reasoning is that “Swine serves as a vector for pathogenic worms to enter the human body. Infections by Trichinella spiralis and Taenia solium are not uncommon. Fatty acids and composition of pork fat have been mentioned as incompatible with human fat and biochemical systems.”

In other words, the strong underlying reason for this religious proscription is its damaging effect on humans which could cause a variety of medical issues like “increased cancer risk” and many health problems. It is for this reason that Islam is not the only religion that bans pork from its adherents. Other religious sects like the Seventh Day Adventists, the United Church of God, the Orthodox Jewish Kosher, etc., prohibit pork consumption. In an article by Dr. Josh Axe he mentioned that “in the Old Testament, God warned us that the pig was an unclean animal. Why? Because pig is a scavenger and not meant for human consumption.”

The greatest fear among Muslims and non-pork-eating citizens is that this may have been going on in several markets in the country without being detected.

The local government units should be uncompromising in the exercise of their supervisory and monitoring power over market operations to prevent a repeat of this criminal act. It should never abdicate its inherent oversight duty.

How can one person be possessed of so much greed to resort to a reprehensible way that violates the belief of a fellow human being? It reflects a social malady that government must help to address.


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