UN-WTO: No need to ban pork due to swine flu | world | Hindustan Times
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UN-WTO: No need to ban pork due to swine flu

The UN and World Trade Organisation have said there is no justification for anti-pork trade measures as a result of the swine flu epidemic since there is no evidence the virus is spread by food.

world Updated: May 03, 2009 12:22 IST

The UN and World Trade Organisation have said there is no justification for anti-pork trade measures as a result of the swine flu epidemic since there is no evidence the virus is spread by food.

The statement yesterday was the most emphatic yet from the United Nations and other agencies that consumers can safely eat pig products as long as they are prepared hygienically.

The joint statement was issued after major American pork importers like Russia and China banned pork products from certain US states. Other countries, like Indonesia, Ukraine, Philippines and Serbia, have banned certain pork products from the entire United States.

"To date there is no evidence that the virus is transmitted by food," said the statement, which was issued by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation and World Health Organisation, along with the WTO and the World Organization for Animal Health.

The World Organisation for Animal Health disseminates information reported to it by member countries about animal diseases. It publishes an animal health standards code based on that information, and the WTO recognises the code as a reference for its international sanitary rules.

The joint statement said there is no justification under that code to impose import bans on pork products.