Agriculture officials from the United States, Canada and Mexico urged the international community in a written statement not to use the outbreak of the H1N1 human influenza as a reason to create trade restrictions.
The statement, signed by Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Gerry Ritz, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Mexican Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food Alberto Cardenas, underscored the safety of pork and the fact that “H1N1 human influenza viruses are not spread by food.”
The statement notes that International organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) all reiterate that the consumption of pork meat and related products do not present a health risk of contracting H1N1 human influenza and that all three countries are committed to ongoing monitoring and vigilance in both public and animal health.
Additionally, in a move to clear up any misinformation about the safety of eating pork, a joint statement from the FAO, WHO and OIE was re-issued which addressed the transmission of influenza viruses and the consumption of pork products or other food products derived from pigs.
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack also testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies of the Senate Committee on Appropriations recently about the H1N1 influenza virus and pork.
Source: AMI – American Meat Institute