US pressing to reverse Chinese pork bans
The Bush administration is pressing China to reverse
its decision to suspend imports from seven poultry and four pork plants, as
producers defended products they say are safe enough for consumers at home and
The import bans are the latest action in the escalating trade tension
between the US and China. The US Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has
apparently requested test results and any scientific information available that
justify the restrictions.
Differing safety standards
Keith Williams, a spokesman for US Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns,
blamed the ban on differing safety standards between the US and China. All of
the plants in question meet US Department of Agriculture (USDA) hygiene
regulations. "We're certainly working to address the differences," he said,
adding that a delegation of Chinese officials will arrive in Washington in the
coming weeks to discuss trade issues.
Patrick Boyle, president of the American Meat Institute said that the
exported products could be safely eaten by US consumers, yet China has rejected
"US food safety standards are among the most stringent in the world and
our pork and poultry products are recognised for their safety," he said.
"China's policies and actions to suspend these plants are inconsistent with the
best available science."
Many players in the US pork and poultry industry are not happy with the
bans, and some are complaining in saying that China selectively enforces rules,
while others see the bans as an outcry following American consumers and
politicians questioning the goods coming from Chinese exports.
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