RD Silent Killer

by BERNADETTE W. WINGERE

When the RD Tuna Canners Corporation first set foot in Madang in 1997, the Papua New Guinea government had envisioned that the company would create employments, landowners would get royalties, the spin of businesses will be distributed to the surrounding communities and as a result it will boost the economy and vital service delivery in the country.

However, after 18 years of sucking all the resources in PNG soils, the innocent Pilipino girl has grew into a matu (leader) of businesses in the country. First it came as a RD Tuna canner, now she has her sister company RD Fishing PNG Limited and other small contractors from Philippines and they also have great influence in PNG politics and economic systems as well.

The company now owns 12 fishing vessels, 7 fishing carriers and it employs more than 3000 people whom she does not see as her strong workforce or the backbone of the company but rather her slaves.

During her establishment, the aim was to produce quality canned tuna products. And yes she does. But where are all these quality canned fish sold to? The best quality canned tuna products are shipped to Europe, US, Japan, Australia, Vanuatu, Solomon Island, Fiji and Sir Lanka. Her waste products Diana and Dolly Tuna are sold here at the local PNG market.

This so-called Asia Pacific’s leading supplier and producer of world class tuna products, RD Tuna in Madang is silently killing Papua New Guineans with its illegal technique of reprocessing canned tuna.

We all know that to reprocess means to process something again or differently, typically in order to reuse it. However, for canned fish if the expiry date has passed the canned tuna’s texture, color and flavor will gradually deteriorate.

But our world-class tuna supplier decides to reprocess these expired canned tuna and produce Dolly Tuna products, which they claimed as best quality canned fish that offers “Healthy flavored tuna delights”. The Dolly product comes in six (6) tuna variants. The dolly tuna in oil, dolly barbeque, dolly smoke, dolly sandwich, dolly hot & spice and dolly brine. When the market demand is low the surplus of this products are packed and stored in the warehouse.

However, when the market demand is high again, the world-class tuna producers have alternative ways to utilize the surplus canned fish that have been stored for ages. By then most of the cans are rusty and some of them even burst open because of the heat.

These cans of fish are then unpacked washed and taken to the packing section. Then the oil, salt, chili or source is added and the can is sealed and packed and ready to be sold out in shops.

Most of these canned fish were supposed to be dumped or milled to make stock feed however, it was reprocessed as a human feed to feed Papua New Guineans