China will impose new requirements on pork imports from several European countries, following a meeting between the European Union’s health chief and Chinese food safety officials in Beijing.
China announced new measures last week on imports of pork from four EU states© — Denmark, France, Italy and Spain — as well as Canada, requiring certification that the animals used for the meat were free of the H1N1 influenza virus.
The EU opposes the measures because they impose additional costs on exporters, and it says its pork products are safe. “What we are interested in is that the importation of pork will not be restricted, because there is no danger,” said EU health and food safety commissioner Androulla Vassiliou.
China however, has defended its actions. “We have to protect China from the transmission of the epidemic from overseas, and we also have to prevent the epidemic in China from spreading further,” said Yu Taiwei, head of food safety for imports and exports at the General Administration for Quality Supervision Inspection & Quarantine. He denied that the move constituted a trade restriction. “The measures comply fully with the WTO regulations,” he said.