US urges Russia, China to lift pork import ban

May 2nd, 2009 - 7:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, May 2 (RIA Novosti) Washington has urged Russia and China to lift a ban imposed on imports of raw pork from the US, an official said.
Russia imposed a ban on raw pork imports from a number of US states as part of emergency measures to try and contain the deadly swine flu virus. Russia and China import around 20 percent of all US pork exports.

US trade secretary Gary Locke said government actions during this time of economic uncertainty and international concern about influenza must be based on scientific evidence. There should be no restrictions on trade without cause.

The deadly flu outbreak, which started in Mexico before spreading to the US and other countries, has caused worldwide panic with at least 330 people diagnosed with the A(H1N1) virus.

Mexico’s Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova said the number of people infected with swine flu has risen to 397 with 16 confirmed deaths in the country.

Mexico has introduced a five-day closure of restaurants, cafes, bars, tourist attractions and public place in Mexico City and other town and cities to try and contain the spread of the disease.

The World Health Organisation said the virus can be destroyed in temperatures above 70 degrees Celsius.

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