Query: Misleading Headline: Informante 27 October – 02 November 2016.
Response: The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry would like to inform the Namibian Public that the headline titled State vet hid Okapuka results is factually untrue and seems to have been made solely for the purpose of sensationalism.
We assure the Public that all relevant information regarding the Okapuka feedlot (including the various expert opinions) had been shared with the assigned authorities from the MEATCO Board which was used to derive the solution to the problem. The editor of the Informante newspaper was contacted to reveal which results were hidden and from whom such results were hidden but he failed to do so hence the need for this clarification.
The article further ventures into explanations of fungal contamination versus feed contamination and appears to suggest that these are mutually exclusive. That is highly misleading as the fungus actually contaminates feed which in turn produces the toxin zearalonone which when consumed by animals, through contaminated feed, is converted to the various metabolites including zeranol, talarenol, alpha and beta zearalenol.
We urge the media, particularly the Informante newspaper to maintain high journalistic standards and to report factually and responsibly at all times.
• Margaret Kalo, Senior Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org