Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today issued a statement on reports that China is banning pork imports from Iowa due to the Influenza A/H1N1 outbreak. Other countries have taken similar actions against states where people with the infection have been found.
However, international health officials have repeatedly confirmed that people cannot contract the H1N1 virus from eating pork and other meats. Over the weekend the World Health Organization, World Organization for Animal Health and the World Trade Organization issued a joint statement to that effect. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has also repeatedly emphasized to trading partners and consumers the safety of U.S. pork.
Sec. Northey’s statement follows here:
“Iowa pork, and all pork for that matter, is safe and China and the other countries that are banning pork imports are not acting based on science. It is unfortunate that these unjustified actions are being felt most dramatically by the farmers who raise pork. The industry has already been facing very difficult economics for the last several months, and this just adds to the difficulties experienced by Iowa’s pork producers.”