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Progress to Restore Canadian Pork to China

by 5m Editor
18 January 2010, at 12:27pm

CANADA - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is confident the export of Canadian pork to China will resume once issues surrounding Chinese requirements for supplementary certification of Canadian processing plants can be resolved, writes Bruce Cochrane.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency expects Canadian pork exports to China to resume once issues surrounding Chinese for requirements supplementary certification of Canadian processing plants can be resolved.

In May, following the discovery of the H1N1 virus in an Alberta swine herd, China banned the import of Canadian pork from Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec.

Although the ban was officially lifted on 1 December, the flow of Canadian pork into China has remained stalled pending resolution of Chinese requirements for supplementary certification documentation.

Dr Richard Arsenault, the director of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's Meat Programs Division says representatives of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International trade have been working closely with their Chinese counterparts to work out the technicalities to allow trade to resume as soon as possible.

Dr Richard Arsenault – Canadian Food Inspection Agency

They're more in the nature of providing the assurances that the Chinese feel are necessary to answer the questions in terms of ongoing monitoring for the virus to make sure that the situation is well in check.

The key message really is that this virus doesn't affect the safety of properly cooked pork and this isn't an issue in terms of safety.

Any raw meat, you're going to have to cook it in order for it to be safe and we're all anticipating that but the Chinese authorities view the H1N1 as an issue that demands a supplementary certification issue just so that they know that controls are in place and that there aren't any animals that are visibly infected that are coming forward and from what we know of our domestic thing there's no issues on that.

Everything is well in hand and working well.


Dr Arsenault says Canadian officials have been proactive in addressing potential issues and, for the most part, our trading partners have been receptive to that message.

He says he would like to see the matter resolved with China as quickly as possible but it is an evolving process and it could be a matter of a couple of days or a couple of weeks.