Meat Market Tenderized by China Tops a Big Week for Global Food


By Millie Munshi, Bloomberg 

June 26, 2020


China has taken some unprecedented and unexpected steps to stir confusion and controversy when it comes to linking coronavirus outbreaks to food, acting against the advice of experts who say there’s little science backing the connection.


The country’s customs officials are asking global food exporters to sign a document that assures they’re meeting Covid-19 safety requirements to prevent transmission of the virus. This comes just after the Asian nation slapped a ban on poultry shipments from a plant owned by Tyson Foods after the company reported infections at the Arkansas site.


Some food producers — including Tyson — are signing the requested affidavits.


But there’s also been a fair amount of push-back, and regulatory agencies are being sure to note that there doesn’t appear to be any evidence linking virus infections to food.


Australia’s government issued a statement dated Tuesday that cited the World Health Organization, saying “transmission through food is highly unlikely.”


A day later, the U.S. took a similar stance.


‘Known Science’


“Efforts by some countries to restrict global food exports related to Covid-19 transmission are not consistent with the known science of transmission,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn said in a joint statement.


China’s moves on this issue have also seen twists...


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