Trichinae programme could boost pork exports

by Editor
Friday, October 17, 2008

USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) issued a final regulation for implementing a programme in which producers may participate to certify that their pork is free of trichinae. This could allay concerns of U.S. trading partners and help boost U.S. pork exports, according to the National Pork Producers Council, which worked to get the programme included in the 2008 Farm Bill.

Although the occurrence of Trichinella spiralis in the U.S. commercial herd is extraordinarily rare, a national voluntary certification programme, says NPPC, will confirm that fact and will address concerns raised by many of the United States’ biggest trading partners, including the European Union, Russia, Chile and Singapore, about the possible presence of trichinae in U.S. pork. Those countries require testing for trichinae of all fresh and chilled pork imports from the United States, tests that are expensive and that act as a significant barrier to U.S. pork exports.

According to NPPC President Bryan Black, the trichinae certification programme would give trading partners evidence of what USDA and every U.S. pork producer has known for years – that trichinae was not a problem in U.S. pork.

The U.S. pork industry has worked for more than 13 years with U.S. and international agencies to formulate a National Trichinae Certification Programme that will significantly increase the U.S. pork industry’s global market access. Producers in a number of states have participated in voluntary pilot programs in 1995, 1997 and 2000. The certification programme includes on-farm production practices – which producers helped develop – that will mitigate the negligible risks of exposure to Trichinella spiralis.