In this file:

 

·         US rebukes China’s COVID-19 concerns over imported food

The “efforts by some countries to restrict global food exports related to COVID-19 transmission are not consistent with the known science of transmission,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said. “There is no evidence that people can contract COVID-19 from food or from food packaging. The U.S. food safety system, overseen by our agencies, is the global leader in ensuring the safety of our food products, including product for export.”

 

·         China’s Virus-Safety Demand Is Latest Hurdle to Trade Deal

... Late Tuesday, Tyson confirmed it signed the statement declaring it is complying with Chinese laws and international food-safety standards... meat giants JBS SA, Marfrig Global Foods and BRF SA have agreed to sign...

 

 

US rebukes China’s COVID-19 concerns over imported food

 

By Bill Tomson, Agri-Pulse

06/24/20 

 

China is reaching out to processors of meat, seafood and other food around the globe, asking them to provide proof of “mitigation efforts” to keep facilities free of COVID-19, industry and government sources tell Agri-Pulse. 

 

The danger to global trade, already manifested in China banning poultry from a U.S. plant, pork from a German processor. and beef from a Brazilian company, spurred the USDA and FDA to issue a broadly worded protest on Wednesday.

 

The “efforts by some countries to restrict global food exports related to COVID-19 transmission are not consistent with the known science of transmission,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said. “There is no evidence that people can contract COVID-19 from food or from food packaging. The U.S. food safety system, overseen by our agencies, is the global leader in ensuring the safety of our food products, including product for export.”

 

USDA and FDA noted in the statement that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Occupational Safety and Health Administration have released guidance to control the spread of COVID-19 in food processing plants. But they also stressed that the rules are to protect workers – not as a food safety precaution.

 

The statement does not mention China, but that's who it's directed at, sources tell Agri-Pulse. And it goes far beyond a reaction to China banning chicken from a Tyson Foods plant in Springdale, Ark.

 

“It’s actually much, much larger than that,” according to one source who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the topic. “It goes way beyond that into many industries. It’s globally – not just the U.S.”

 

China, the world’s largest importer of many commodities from every corner of the globe, is struggling...

 

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https://www.agri-pulse.com/articles/13977-us-rebukes-chinas-covid-19-concerns-for-imported-food

 

 

China’s Virus-Safety Demand Is Latest Hurdle to Trade Deal

 

Isis Almeida, Michael Hirtzer, Tatiana Freitas and Mike Dorning, Bloomberg

via Yahoo Finance - June 24, 2020

 

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S.-China trade deal has just suffered a new setback.

 

China wants international shippers of meat and soybeans to sign a document attesting their cargoes meet safety standards to ensure they aren’t contaminated with the novel coronavirus. That’s a step many American exporters have so far been reluctant to take for fear of liability, with Tyson Foods Inc. being the first to confirm it’s signed the certificate.

 

The new demands from China could end up being an impediment to shipments, further delaying the $36.5 billion in farm purchases the Asian nation pledged under the phase one trade deal.

 

The move comes even as the world’s major public health authorities say the virus isn’t foodborne, raising questions over why China is taking the action. It could also act as a non-tariff trade barrier, a tactic the Asian country has applied in the past with everything from American corn cargoes to Canadian canola.

 

China’s request isn’t a move aimed at imposing trade restrictions, according to people familiar with the matter. The demand doesn’t target specific countries as it’s for all exporters, and aims to ease Chinese consumer concerns over the safety of imported food.

 

“I believe this is simply a buyer seeking leverage,” said Chris Robinson, managing director of agriculture and commodities at TJM Institutional Services in Chicago. “They were notorious in the past for canceling shipments for various ‘infractions,’” he said referring to China.

 

China’s Meat Fears Spill Over to Soy With Virus-Free Request

 

On Sunday, China suspended poultry imports from a Tyson Foods plant where hundreds of employees tested positive for Covid-19, stoking concerns over the broader implications for U.S. and global meat exports. If shippers don’t sign the new affidavits, they could be subject to more bans.

 

This comes just after China signaled last week it was getting ready to accelerate purchases of American farm goods to comply with the trade deal following recent talks with U.S. officials in Hawaii. Donald Trump has touted the deal as being a big boost to farmers, a key part of his base as he seeks re-election in November.

 

China’s latest actions could just be the country “stirring the pot” ahead of the U.S. presidential elections in November, Robinson said.

 

Traders are already on edge after a Trump official on Monday raised questions about the deal before the president himself said the agreement was “fully intact.” Rhetoric between the two countries has intensified recently. Trump employed a racist slur in referring to the pandemic as the “Kung flu” at a rally over the weekend in Oklahoma and the administration has been criticizing Beijing for saying it would impose contentious new national security legislation on Hong Kong.

 

Chinese buyers are asking soybean and meat shippers to comply with safety regulations “to ensure that food imported into China is not contaminated with the Covid-19 virus,” according to the declaration seen by Bloomberg. The request was directed at “a wide variety of meats, seafood and other foodstuffs,” the U.S. Meat Export Federation said in a message to members.

 

For shippers, there are many unknowns, including whether and how cargoes will be subjected to Covid-19 testing and what sanctions could be imposed if China says the shipments carried the virus. So far, U.S. exporters seem to be taking a conservative approach, signaling concerns over signing the document.

 

Late Tuesday, Tyson confirmed it signed the statement declaring it is complying with Chinese laws and international food-safety standards.

 

“We are very confident in the safety of our products and have put measures in place that are in full compliance with all applicable requirements, and have signed the certification on that basis,” Tyson said.

 

Meanwhile, some competitors in rival Brazil including meat giants JBS SA, Marfrig Global Foods and BRF SA have agreed to sign. And Europe’s meat industry...

 

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https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/china-virus-safety-demand-latest-011700252.html