WASHINGTON -- The United States warned its trading partners Tuesday against introducing restrictions on U.S. pork imports amid the spreading swine flu epidemic.
In a joint statement, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that while the United States continues to closely monitor for cases of the new human influenza, the American food supply is safe.
"While there is no evidence at this time that swine has been infected with this virus, the science is clear that consuming or handling pork, consistent with safe handling practices, is of no risk to consumers," Vilsack said.
For his part, Kirk urged all trading partners to base any food safety measures taken to protect their people on scientific evidence and in line with their international obligations.
"Restrictions on U.S. pork or pork products or any meat products from the United States resulting from the recent outbreak do not appear to be based on scientific evidence and may result in serious trade disruptions without cause," he said.