Carbadox restrictions in Canada threat to trade
The Canadian Pork Council is trying to
persuade Health Canada to go easy on further restrictions on Carbadox
antibiotics because of trade implications with the
The issue is complicated and carries financial implications for Canada's
pig producers. They cannot use Carbadox, whereas their competitors in the US and
Canada prohibited the antibiotics from feed in 2001, because the
antibiotics can break down into metabolites that cause cancer. Residues,
however, continued to show up in Canadian-produced pork. That prompted Health Canada
to adopt tighter
restrictions in the spring of 2004, in effect barring farmers from importing
these antibiotics for their own on-farm use.
Health Canada is now considering even tighter restrictions, including a ban
on importing pork from any pigs that have been fed rations containing Carbadox.
Joy Philippi, president of the US National
Pork Producers Council
(NPPC), is complaining that this would be an unfair
trade restriction because it's now allowed under the WTO
standards. She also says the
US pork industry might take action under the North American Free Trade Agreement
The Canadian pork industry has spent millions dealing with US trade
complaints and actions, so the Canadian Pork Council
is looking for solutions that keep that
If the US needs Carbadox for economic viability, then the ban in Canada
obviously has economic implications in a free-trade zone.
In the European Union, Carbadox has been forbidden at any
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