Since the U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the interception of a large shipment of illegal pork products from China, the National Pork Producers Council has been in discussions with the agency regarding the seized product. The contraband shipment, which will be safely and securely destroyed in accordance with U.S. government policy, did not include fresh meat.
Other important facts regarding the seizure are:
- The one million pounds reported was an estimate based on the total amount of material that could be held in the 40-50 containers seized. It is not the actual amount of pork product.
- Many of the products contained pork flavoring ingredients in items like ramen noodles and candy made from gelatin.
- The confiscated product will be incinerated. It will not be tested.
The NPPC issued the following statement.
“Preventing the spread of African swine fever to the United States is our top priority. We are thankful to CBP and the U.S. Department of Agriculture for their increased vigilance and the expanded resources they have put in place to prevent ASF’s spread to the United States, a development that would threaten animal health and immediately close our export markets at a time when we are already facing serious trade headwinds.
“Illegal import/export activities like this can’t stand and must be met with swift and severe penalties to discourage others from attempting to transport contraband products across our borders. Prevention of ASF is our only defense; we must remain on high alert at our airports and sea ports to prevent the illegal entry of meat products and be diligent in our farm biosecurity protocols. We are hopeful that others considering illegal import/export activity like this will take note of the severe consequences.
“Along with the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, National Pork Board and the Swine Health Information Center, NPPC continues to work closely with U.S. government officials to strengthen safeguards against the spread of ASF and other animal diseases.”