Ottawa: The Canadian government has threatened to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) if China fails to lift a ban on pork from Alberta, where a herd of pigs tested positive for the H1N1 flu virus.
“Should China continue on, of course there is the WTO challenge, which we would not hesitate to enact,” agriculture minister Gerry Ritz told the House of Commons on Monday.
Beijing has put an import ban on pigs and pork products from Alberta in response to the virus being found in some 200 animals.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency insisted Canadian pork was still safe, and that the animals had likely contracted the disease from a Canadian who had recently returned from Mexico.
“China is operating outside of sound science,” Ritz insisted, noting that Beijing has received safety assurances from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
The WHO’s representative in China said yesterday that the measure against Alberta pork was probably redundant, since the feared virus is not transmitted through pigs or pork products, but from human to human.