via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.
Statement by ag leaders from U.S., Canada
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this morning released the following statement on international trade and
Statement By Canadian Minister of Agriculture
and Agri-Food Gerry Ritz, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack,
and Mexican Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development,
Fisheries and Food Alberto Cardenas
May 02, 2009
"We would like to express our deepest sympathies for the
victims of the current outbreak of H1N1 influenza and emphasize
that our governments are doing everything they can to bring the
outbreak under control.
"We strongly urge the international community not to use
the outbreak of the H1N1 influenza as a reason to create unnecessary
trade restrictions and that decisions be made based on sound scientific
evidence. H1N1 influenza viruses are not spread by food. International
organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), Food
and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the World Organization for
Animal Health (OIE) all reiterate that the consumption of pork meat
and related products do not present a health risk of contracting
H1N1 influenza. Canadian, American and Mexican authorities have
emphasized that they have not found a case of influenza in swine
herds. All three of our countries are committed to ongoing monitoring
and vigilance in both public and animal health.
"The current outbreak of H1N1 influenza, which is being spread
from person to person, is being addressed by the health and sanitary
authorities of our three countries, emphasizing the need for cooperation
and a common front against this new virus. In addition, we fully
support OIE efforts to alert and disseminate relevant information
published by its members' laboratories in real time about the disease."
Comments: When this
incident is over, there will be several countries -- and others -- in
the hall of shame department.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration will send seveal officials
to address the H1N1 flu outbreak on Sunday. Health and Human
Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Homeland Security Secretary Janet
Napolitano and Dr. Richard Besser, the acting director of the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention, will make the rounds, appearing
on Meet the Press, Face the Nation, Fox News Sunday,
State of the Union and ABC’s This Week.
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retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.