China bans pig and pork imports from Mexico, U.S.

Apr. 30, 2009 - China, the world's biggest pork consumer, has forbidden direct or indirect imports of both live pigs and of pork products from Mexico and from the three U.S. states of Texas, Kansas, and California with the intent to prevent the swine flu virus from spreading to the country, according to a joint statement issued by the Agriculture Ministry and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine on Monday.

The statement, which took effect upon its announcement, also said that pork products sent by mail or personally carried by travelers are also prohibited.

A number of countries, including Russia, Thailand and Ecuador, have banned or restricted pork imports in spite of assurances from authorities such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization that the swine flu cannot be transmitted through food, but only from person to person.

Though the E.U., Australia, and the top buyer of U.S. pork, Japan, have not issued bans, the pork industry is concerned about the effect the bans will have on trade.

(China Knowledge)

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