May 13, 2009 – The Council of the Federation met by conference call on May 11, 2009 to discuss the urgent situation facing Canadian pork producers following the ban on imports of Canadian pork by China and several other countries.
The conference call took place at the request of Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach.
“Canadian pork products are safe,” said Stelmach. “We are dismayed that countries like China and Russia are making decisions to ban pork imports without scientific justification. Provinces and territories want countries to base their trade decisions on scientifically supported facts, and there are no facts that would support the banning of pork products.”
The Council of the Federation noted that on May 2, 2009, four global organizations dealing with human and animal health and international trade matters – the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) – formally stated that “there is no evidence that the virus is transmitted by food” and that, therefore, there “is no justification … for the imposition of trade measures on the importation of pigs or their products.”
The Council of the Federation also strongly supports the May 7, 2009 statement of the three NAFTA Trade Ministers to the effect that they are prepared to take action to prevent the enforcement of scientifically unjustified restrictions on Canadian exports and urges the federal Ministers of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Agriculture and Agri-Food to adopt a joint strategy and aggressively press countries that have banned pork imports to counteract any misinformation about Canadian pork and pork products and the H1N1 virus. The Council of the Federation offers any assistance it can provide in the development and implementation of this strategy.
Premiers have demonstrated their confidence in Canadian pork products by maintaining the promotion of pork within their own provinces and territories.
BC Premier Campbell was unable to participate in the conference call due to the provincial election.
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