IFFO attacks ‘unbalanced’ fish oil report

The International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organization (IFFO) on Friday described the NRK program criticizing fish oil produced in Peru as unbalanced and misleading.

The “Consumer Inspectors” program, which aired in Norway on NRK, alleged that fish oil factories in Peru backed by Norwegian investors are endangering the environment and health of the people who live near the facilities. Norwegian companies have ownership interests in 13 Peruvian fish oil factories, the program alleged. Environmentalists contend that the sea beds near the facilities have “no life” due to pollution and that the anchovies are often illegally harvested.

The IFFO replied that the program failed to show the huge strides the fish oil industry has made to introduce responsible sourcing practices, safe manufacturing and reducing environmental impact.

“While there are examples of bad practice within the wider industry, IFFO members are committed to responsible production of fish oil and best practice in all aspects of manufacture,” said Andrew Mallison, director general of IFFO. “This is demonstrated by the widespread uptake of the IFFO Responsible Supply scheme in Peru, an independently audited certification program for fishmeal and fish oil introduced by IFFO in 2009. This standard covers the quality control in thefactories as well as ensuring that the fishery providing the raw material meets the United Nations’ FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. It also ensures procedures are in place to avoid the use of illegal, unreported or unregulated fish in the production of fish oil and fishmeal.” 

IFFO members represent around 60 percent of global fish oil production and 80 percent of fishmeal and fish oil traded worldwide. IFFO said it provided NRK with up-to-date data and facts on the issues. These, and an offer to be interviewed, were ignored, according to the IFFO.


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