Russia Continues to Manipulate Pork Imports

North American trade officials ask for bans to be lifted.

Russia continues to keep the U.S. guessing as to which states will be able to export pork products to that country and which states will not. Russia's food safety regulator has lifted a ban on pork imports from five U.S. states imposed earlier. The states are: Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Nevada and Ohio. But a new ban has been imposed on supplies of all types of meat, produced and packed after May 6 from Illinois. The Russian regulator is blaming the possible spread of the A/H1N1 flu virus.

The ban on meat imports from the U.S. states of California, Delaware, Texas and New York is still in force. Russia has also imposed a ban on pork imports from South Carolina, Arizona and Massachusetts. A ban on the import of pork from Mexico also remains in place.

Trade officials from the U.S., Canada and Mexico on Thursday called on those countries with bans on pork prompted by H1N1 to remove the restrictions immediately. They said they are following the situation closely and will take any steps to prevent the enforcement of unjustified measures against their exports as appropriate.

The World Health Organization has reiterated that there is no risk of infection from the consumption of well-cooked pork and pork products. The A/H1N1 virus has been officially confirmed in 1,893 people in 23 countries, at least 30 people have died. According to the WHO, a total of 642 cases have been registered in the U.S., resulting in one death. Sixteen countries have bans on pork or pork products.

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