MDM The acronym MDM features regularly in articles, reports and statistics related to imported meat products. MDM refers to mechanically deboned meat and is often also referred to as MRM (mechanically recovered meat), as well as MSM (mechanically separated meat). It is a paste- like meat product produced by forcing chicken (it can also apply to beef, pork and turkey) under high pressure through a sieve or similar device (a mechanically deboning machine) to separate the bone from the meat tissue. The objective is to optimize recovery and yield of the remainder of the carcass efficiently and effectively once the primal cuts have been removed. The paste, thus extracted, is used in the manufacture of processed meat (polonies, viennas and Russian sausages. It is very important to note, that all MDM is imported, as it is not produced in South Africa because the raw materials used in the process achieve far greater profits by selling them in the raw bone-in state. Products derived from MDM are often the only types of protein affordable to the poorer segments of our population. The following represents MDM volumes imported into South Africa over the six year period, 2006-2011: Year Metric tons 2006 76907 2007 92682 2008 92408 2009 82266 2010 101225 2011 122391 Approximately 90% of the above imports were sourced from Brazil. Current import volumes of around 10000 tons per month are a clear indication of the critical role that MDM plays in the lives and eating habits of consumers. It also indicates its value and importance to the local food processing industry. As mentioned above, MDM is not manufactured in South Africa and therefore cannot reasonably or honestly be included in import figures that are compared to local production figures of poultry. Yet this is exactly what is regularly done when such comparisons are made by local industry in its attempts to demonize importers and exaggerate the volume and effects of imported chicken on the local market. This is both disingenuous and deceitful.