Belgium: Consumers continue to buy pork

05-05-2009 | |

Consumers in Belgium ignore worldwide turmoil over Mexican flu – and have not changed pork purchasing habits, as sales for pig meat products have stayed equal.

These were the main outcomes of some research among its members by Fedis, the Belgian federation for distribution. But although several countries have closed their borders for American pigs and pork, the Belgian government should not worry or overreact, Dominique Michel, Fedis, said.

“These measures are outright mistakes,” he said. “The federal food agency (FAVV) has assured us there is not even the slightest risk, nor during contact with pigs, nor during consumption of pork or derived products. A questionnaire among Fedis members has already taught us that Belgian consumers have yet not changed its consuming behaviour. Pork sales have stayed stable.”

Scientific response
In a press release, Fedis suggests that this rational response follows science. “Important here is perhaps the – correct – change in communication by the press: from ‘swine flu’ to ‘Mexican flu’.

Earlier, the FAVV had already concluded that the ‘pig flu virus’ has nothing to do with pigs, but is a genetic re-combination from human flu virus, poultry flu virus and swine flu virus.”

Related websites
• Fedis (in Dutch and French)