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US pork producers seek action on imported organic soy

US pork producers are calling on the Secretary of Agriculture to restrict the import of organic soy products from ASF-positive countries.

26 February 2020, at 10:45am

The National Pork Producers Council and 30 state pork producers' associations have asked Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to restrict imports of organic soy products from African swine fever (ASF)-positive countries and consider action on conventional soy products.

Speaking to Farmscape, Dr Liz Wagstrom, the Chief Veterinarian with the National Pork Producer's Council, says, while the pork sector is very confident in the safety of domestic soy products, there is concern with those coming in from ASF positive countries.

"As we have worked on our feed risk task force, we've reached a bit of a roadblock because we don't have a good way to sample and test bulk products that might be coming in to assure that there would be no contamination," says Dr Wagstrom.

"In our granular products like amino acids or vitamins, the half life of viruses is pretty short.

"As an industry we have implemented voluntary holding times where the people who are importing those products and the feed mills and feed companies that are using them have just made that part of their supply chain, to hold those products so that if there were any contamination it could be inactivated by the time that product is used.

"With soy products imported from ASF-positive countries, the holding time for organic soy, in our last studies, would have to be over 150 days as well as conventional at 120 some days, that's difficult to say we're going to hold a product that long to inactivate a virus that may or may not be there.

"Until such time that we would be comfortable in being able to sample and test incoming products from those ASF-positive countries, we felt this action was warranted."

Dr Wagstrom applauds action already taken by the US government and the government industry partnership working to prevent ASF.