Home > Papua New Guinea, Tuna > Filipino Multinational Serving up Condoms and Tuna to Papua New Guinean Consumers

Filipino Multinational Serving up Condoms and Tuna to Papua New Guinean Consumers

Do you enjoy condoms with your tuna? No? Best steer clear of RD Tuna Canners Ltd

For years we have known that the Filipino multinational RD Tuna, has no respect for Papua New Guinea workers.

The late anthropologist Nancy Sullivan, brought to light the company’s crimes against workers back in 2003:

‘Conditions in the Cannery are unhygienic and inhumane. Workers have no breaks, no clean or working toilets or showers, and labor under poor lighting and windless, hot conditions. Their sweat runs off onto the fish in the production area, and the spilled fish scraps are retrieved from a crumbling cement floor only to be lightly washed and processed. There are no provisions for gloves, hair nets, masks or gum boots, although these are available: in one of the meanest of Company policies, use of these basic sanitation and safety items are deducted from the workers pay. There have been documented cases of prostitution and gang rape of local women by Filipino nationals in both the Cannery and Wharf settings, as well as sales of illegally imported cigarettes and alcohol. No unions have been allowed until very recently… The wages are well below minimum national wage, and the hours unmonitored: most workers say they are forced to work over eight hours daily without overtime pay. There are also dubious practices of deducting NPF monies and Company transport fees from workers’ pay’.

We now have evidence that RD Tuna has been selling canned Tuna containing condoms. In 6 separate tort actions, outlined below, local consumers complain that they were made ill after discovering their RD Tuna product contained condom. In each case the court agreed.

Of course, not everyone feels ill at the sight of RD Tuna. Politicians in particular appear to have a healthy appetite for the company, so much so that they have declared the Madang region a Special Economic Zone – and even paid the company a cool K20 million for land to set up the zone on.

Meanwhile the company’s local workers and consumers have to chew on condoms, figuratively and literally speaking!

Mombi v RD Tuna Canners Ltd [2017] PGNC 28; N6645 (15 February 2017)

  1. On a day in the first half of 2006, probably 28 March or 28 May, John and Agnes Mombi purchased several unopened cans of Diana Tuna tinned fish from a retail outlet in Madang town, probably Rabtrad Trading.
  1. Those cans were manufactured by the defendant at its cannery near Madang and sold by the defendant, probably to an intermediary, with the intention that they be eventually available for sale to consumers, such as John and Agnes Mombi, at retail outlets, such as Rabtrad Trading.
  1. On the same day as purchasing the Diana Tuna, John and Agnes Mombi took the cans to their home at Wagol-Fikus, in Madang town.
  1. That evening, the task of preparing the evening meal was allocated to one of the Mombis’ six children, Rosina.
  1. At about 7.00 pm, as it was getting dark, Rosina boiled in separate pots, some rice and some kumu (aibika and spinach). She then emptied the contents of at least one of the Diana Tuna cans, which her parents had purchased earlier that day, into the kumu pot. She did not see or smell anything untoward.
  1. Agnes Mombi handed Rosina eight plates (one for each member of the family) and Rosina put servings of rice and kumu-and-tinned fish on each plate.
  1. All members of the family had commenced eating their food by the time that Rosina commenced eating hers.
  1. While eating, after several spoonfuls, Rosina felt something rubbery, like plastic, in her mouth. She pulled it out, checked it in the candlelight, which drew the attention of her father, John Mombi, who announced that it was a condom.
  1. It was in fact a condom, intact, that was in the tinned fish.
  1. All members of the family – the plaintiffs – saw the condom and were shocked. They all stopped eating. 
  1. The three youngest members of the family (Rosina, Barry and Max) were sent to bed, but they woke up, vomiting, around midnight. 
  1. All members of the family apart from John Mombi vomited as a result of consuming the food containing the condom. John Mombi felt sick but took betel nut to prevent himself vomiting. 
  1. All plaintiffs suffered shock upon discovery of the fact that they had consumed tinned fish that contained a condom.
  1. Soon afterwards, around 2.00 am, the whole family – all the plaintiffs – went to Modilon General Hospital, about two kilometres from their home, to get medical treatment. They walked there. Rosina, Barry and Max were carried by other family members. 
  1. On arrival at the hospital, Rosina, Barry and Max, the worst affected, were placed on IV drips and medicated. They were discharged at about 6.30 am. 
  1. Rosina, Barry and Max went to their school, Lutheran Day Primary, that morning but returned at lunchtime, feeling unwell. They did not return to school. 

 

Sengi v RD Tuna Canners Ltd [2017] PGNC 29; N6646 (15 February 2017)

  1. Around midday on Friday 20 January 2006 David Sengi of Giri village, Bogia District, purchased an unopened can of Diana Tuna tinned fish, probably a 380-gram size, and a loaf of bread, from a retail outlet in Madang town, the M & S Tsang retail store.
  1. David Sengi was with a number of other people from Giri village who had come into town to do their shopping. The group included the plaintiffs John Ray, Rex Fasi, Samuel Undonomo, Mono Ray, Elijah Brian and Kume Ray.
  1. The can was manufactured by the defendant at its cannery near Madang and sold by the defendant, probably to an intermediary, with the intention that it be eventually available for sale to consumers, such David Sengi, at retail outlets, including the M & S Tsang retail store.
  1. Immediately after purchasing the Diana Tuna, David Sengi, took the can and the loaf of bread to the nearby Bogia bus stop where plaintiff John Ray assumed the task of opening the can and making sandwiches for the group.
  1. He made the sandwiches by pouring a portion of tuna meat from the can on to various slices of bread.
  1. After he did that, John Ray drank soup from the can and then poured the remaining tuna meat on to his own slice of bread. After the meat came out, came a complete condom. 
  1. John Ray was shocked and alerted the other members of the group to the foreign object that had just come out of the can.
  1. David Sengi and other plaintiffs who have given evidence were shocked and confused and they proceeded in haste to the Madang Police Station, where they reported the finding and handed over the empty can to a police officer. The police advised them to go to the hospital as they appeared to be feeling unwell.
  1. David Sengi and other plaintiffs who have given evidence felt ill and some were physically ill and vomited. John Ray was the worst affected.
  1. From the police station they made their way by PMV to Modilon General Hospital, about two kilometres from the police station, to get medical treatment. 
  1. David Sengi and other plaintiffs who have given evidence rested, were treated and given medication upon their discharge from the emergency department later that afternoon. John Ray, being the worst affected, was placed on an IV drip. 

 

Donatus v RD Tuna Canners Ltd [2017] PGNC 30; N6647 (15 February 2017)

  1. On Saturday 4 March 2006 Eddie and Jennifer Donatus of Erima village, Rai Coast District, purchased three unopened 185-gram cans of Diana Tuna tinned fish, from a retail outlet in Madang town, the Rabtrad supermarket.
  1. The can was manufactured by the defendant at its cannery near Madang and sold by the defendant, probably to an intermediary, with the intention that it be eventually available for sale to consumers, such as Eddie and Jennifer Donatus, at retail outlets, including the Rabtrad supermarket.
  1. The following evening Jennifer Donatus prepared dinner for her husband, Eddie Donatus, their daughter Delailah Donatus and their relatives, Wei Angu and Leslie Angu, who live in the same house. 
  1. Jennifer boiled rice in one pot and in a separate pot boiled green vegetables. When the vegetables were ready she opened on the cans of tinned fish that had been purchased the previous day, into the greens, stirred the pot and when the mixture of greens and fish was hot, served it with the rice on five plates, for those present. 
  1. Jennifer Donatus, Delailah Donatus, Wei Angu and Leslie Angu finished their meal and found it nice. 
  1. Eddie Donatus was the last to eat. He digested three spoonfuls of the greens-and-fish mixture but spat out his third spoonful upon feeling something rubbery in his mouth. It was a condom.
  1. The condom had been in the can of tinned fish. All those present were shocked. 
  1. Eddie Donatus chewed betel nut to stop himself vomiting. It worked but he felt unwell. The others who consumed the food, which had become contaminated by the condom, were sick as a result of consuming it. 
  1. The next day, 6 March 2006, Eddie Donatus took the can from which the condom had emerged and the condom to the Police in Madang. He then laid a complaint at the RD Tuna cannery. He vomited and went back to Erima and gathered together the people who had been sick, and took them to Modilon General Hospital.
  1. The plaintiffs were observed and treated and medicated at the hospital. They were discharged after several hours’ observation. 

Birus v RD Tuna Canners Ltd [2017] PGNC 31; N6648 (15 February 2017

  1. On Friday 26 January 2007 Michael Birus of Erima village, Rai Coast District, purchased an unopened 380-gram can of Diana Tuna tinned fish, from a retail outlet in Madang town, the M & S Tsang retail store.
  1. The can was manufactured by the defendant at its cannery near Madang and sold by the defendant, probably to an intermediary, with the intention that it be eventually available for sale to consumers, such as Michael Birus and Ruth Nuali, at retail outlets, including the Rabtrad supermarket.
  1. That evening, the wife of Michael Birus, Ruth Nuali, prepared dinner for her husband and other members of their household, including their children, Barbara Ami, Jacob Ami and Naimen Kodua, then aged 10, 12 and 4 years respectively. 
  1. Ruth boiled rice in one pot and in a separate pot boiled green vegetables. When the vegetables were ready she opened the 380-gram can of tinned fish that had been purchased earlier that day, into the greens, stirred the pot and when the mixture of greens and fish was hot, served it with the rice on various plates, for those present. 
  1. Ruth and the children finished their meal and found nothing wrong with it. 
  1. Michael Birus was the last to eat. He digested several spoonfuls of the greens-and-fish mixture but stopped eating upon feeling something rubbery in his mouth. It was a condom.
  1. The condom had been in the can of tinned fish. All those present were shocked. 
  1. Michael Birus chewed betel nut to stop himself vomiting. It worked but he felt unwell. The others who consumed the food, which had become contaminated by the condom, were sick as a result of consuming it. 
  1. The next day, 27 January 2007, Michael Birus took his wife and the children to Modilon General Hospital for treatment.
  1. The plaintiffs Michael Birus and Ruth Nuali were observed and treated and medicated at the hospital.

 

Bill v RD Tuna Canners Ltd [2017] PGNC 32; N6649 (15 February 2017)

I therefore make the following findings:

  1. On Friday 30 March 2007 Luke Peter of Gov Stoa, Madang town purchased an unopened can of Diana Tuna tinned fish, from a retail outlet in Madang town, the Best Buy retail store.
  1. The can was manufactured by the defendant at its cannery near Madang and sold by the defendant, probably to an intermediary, with the intention that it be eventually available for sale to consumers, such as Luke Peter, at retail outlets, including the Best Buy store.
  1. That evening, Luke Peter’s son, Peter Marshall, assisted by Peter’s friends, the plaintiffs Hendrick James (aka Emrick James) and Justin Wake, prepared dinner for themselves and Luke Peter, at Gov Stoa. 
  1. Peter Marshall boiled rice in a pot and once it was cooked, he opened the can of Diana Tuna that Luke Peter had purchased earlier that day. He noticed that, together with the fish meat, the can had a condom in it. He was shock, felt unwell and vomited.
  1. Luke Peter, Hendrick James (aka Emrick James) and Justin Wake had a similar reaction. Though none of them ate any of the fish, the sight of the condom shocked them and the thought of eating tinned fish contaminated by a condom, made them feel ill. They all vomited. 
  1. The next day, 31 March 2007, Luke Peter reported the matter to the police, the health inspector and Modilon General Hospital.

Kaipa v RD Tuna Canners Ltd [2017] PGNC 33; N6650 (15 February 2017)

  1. On Thursday 9 February 2006 Steven Kaipa and Betty Kaipa purchased an unopened 185-gram can of Diana Tuna tinned fish, from a retail outlet in Madang town, the Best Buy retail store.
  1. The can was manufactured by the defendant at its cannery near Madang and sold by the defendant, probably to an intermediary, with the intention that it be eventually available for sale to consumers, such as Steven Kaipa and Betty Kaipa, at retail outlets, including the Best Buy store.
  1. That evening, Steven Kaipa and Betty Kaipa’s daughter, Susie Kaipa prepared dinner for the family at their home at Clifton Police Barracks. 
  1. Susie Kaipa boiled rice and greens and was about to pour the can of tinned fish, which she had opened, into a frying pan when she notice that, together with the fish meat, the can had a condom in it. She was shocked and screamed hysterically.
  1. Steven Kaipa and Betty Kaipa were sitting close to the kitchen and upon hearing their daughter scream, rushed to the kitchen and saw what their daughter was screaming about: a condom on top of the fish. 
  1. Though none of them ate any of the fish, the sight of the condom shocked them and the thought of eating tinned fish contaminated by a condom, made them feel ill and confused and worried. 
  1. The next day, 10 February 2006, Steven Kaipa reported the matter to the police, the health inspector and Modilon General Hospital.
  1. The family members, in particular Betty Kaipa, were subsequently the subject of ridicule in the local community as they came to be known as consumers of condoms in tinned fish and this affected Betty Kaipa’s income earning capacity. 
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  1. Yatom Denu Edmund
    March 10, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Just simply shut down the cannery and sue the company, just about had enough of these foreigners coming into our country and doing business without any care about the welbeing of our people and the laws of our great nation.Our so called leaders should conduct a full scale investigation into it and charge the whole lot of them.

  2. Jerry Daniels
    March 10, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    Shut down the cannery. There product is not good.

  3. March 14, 2017 at 7:10 am

    I hope these court cases are successful, with millions of kina ordered for damages.

  4. March 22, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    In the PNG National newspaper today, 22 March 2017, there is an article headed, “Condoms now accessible”, but the article doesn’t mention that you can find them in a can of tuna with compliments from the Filipino multinational RD Tuna Canners!!!!!
    Perhaps it is time to boycott RD Tuna Canners in protest of their disgusting unhygienic, unhealthy, harmful tuna cannery operations in Papua New Guinea.
    Like others have said, sue the company for millions and may justice prevail.

  5. Ghandi Katao
    March 26, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Who is in charge of food security, consumer protection and compliance???

  1. March 10, 2017 at 10:05 am

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