Thai Pig Farmers Oppose Pork Imports from the US

THAILAND - The country's pig farmers are strongly opposing pressure from the US to open up the domestic market to imports of pig meat.
calendar icon 17 September 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

The Swine Raisers Association along with 250,000 pig farmers nationwide will write to the Trade Negotiations Department and the US Embassy to oppose the United States' attempt to force Thailand to open its market to US pork and pork products, reports The Nation of Thailand.

"We insist that pork imports from the US are prohibited in any way as they will seriously damage the pig-farming industry in Thailand," said Surachai Sutthitham, president of the association.

"If we know that US pork will be shipped to any port and in any container, we will join forces to prevent the product from entering the market," he said.

Letters will be sent directly to Piramon Charoenpao, director-general of the department, and to the US commercial council.

Recently, the US pressured Thailand once again through the department to accelerate negotiations on allowing US pork into the Thai market. The US also offered to improve the use of beta-agonists, which make meat redder, up to Codex standards. The Codex Alimentarius is a collection of internationally recognised standards, codes of practice, guidelines and other recommendations relating to foods, food production and food safety.

The US has admitted that the use of beta-agonists causes problems for canners, he said. This chemical is not permitted for use at any livestock farm in Thailand by the Public Health Ministry.

The association insists that enough swine are produced locally for domestic consumption. Sometimes there is even an oversupply and pork needs to be exported. The government should find ways to support pork exports.

Viet Nam is a good example, he said. After the US gained access to the pork market there, The Nation reports, Vietnamese pig farmers had to shut down as they could not compete with the lower prices of US product.

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