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·         China bans imports of meat from Brazil as coronavirus fears rocket

·         China Halts Meat Imports From More Plants Amid Virus Tumult



China bans imports of meat from Brazil as coronavirus fears rocket

CHINA has banned imports of meat from a number of packaging plants in Brazil amid coronavirus concerns.


By Edward Browne, Express (UK) 

Jun 30, 2020


The temporary ban, ordered by China’s General Administration of Customs, affects three Brazilian meat packaging companies, Reuters said.


Brazil is by far the second worst-affected country in the world in terms of confirmed coronavirus cases, behind the US. It also has the second-highest number of deaths from the virus.


The nation’s agriculture ministry has said that China has been asking for information on firms from which it receives Brazilian exports, after Brazilian media reported cases amongst workers.


The names of the companies affected were not given by Brazilian authorities.


But Reuters claims that a plant operated by Marfrig in the town of Várzea Grande is one of the facilities that have been affected by the ban.


The country’s agriculture ministry said that China did not give a formal reason as to why it was suspending imports from the sites.


But it said that it was working to find out why, and said that negotiations to lift China’s suspensions have begun.


In addition to the three meat packing plants that have been affected by China’s measures, Brazil’s agriculture ministry said that it had voluntarily suspended exports from a fourth.


Brazil has reported 1,370,488 total confirmed cases of Covid-19, with 58,385 deaths and 757,462 recoveries.


The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims at the time of writing that there is “[currently] no evidence to support transmission of Covid-19 associated with food.”


Though it does add that washing one’s hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before preparing and eating food is important for “general food safety”.


Likewise, the US Food and Drug Administration stated on March 17 that “SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, is a virus that causes respiratory, not gastrointestinal, illness. Foodborne exposure to this virus is not known to be a route of transmission”.


However, a Chinese study published in the BMJ’s ‘Gut’ journal in April concluded that “GI tract may be a potential transmission route and target organ of SARS-CoV-2”.


The authors noted that SARS-CoV-2 RNA could be “detected in the oesophagus, stomach, duodenum and rectum in severe patients”...


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China Halts Meat Imports From More Plants Amid Virus Tumult


Source: The General Administration of Customs of China/Bloomberg News

via Regina Leader-Post (Canada) - Jun 30, 2020


(Bloomberg) — China suspended meat imports from more plants as the Asian nation continues to sow confusion in global agriculture markets by suggesting a potential link between the spread of coronavirus and food.


Customs authorities suspended imports from plants in countries including Brazil, Canada and Germany, according to a notice on a departmental website. While China didn’t provide a reason for the suspension, most, if not all, of the facilities had one thing in common: Covid-19 outbreaks.


The country has taken some unexpected steps in recent weeks, stirring controversy when its companies asked food suppliers around the world to sign a document attesting their cargoes meet safety standards to ensure they aren’t contaminated with the virus. Exporting nations and regulatory agencies have pushed back, declaring there’s no evidence linking infections to food.


“It is a great pity that we have ended up in this situation,” said Lars Albertsen, head of global sales at Danish Crown Pork, which had a facility in Germany suspended. “Unfortunately, the mentioning of the apparently positive tests last week has already meant that the Chinese authorities shut down the export of pork from the abattoir” with cases, he said.


The move comes shortly after an outbreak in Beijing was first traced to a chopping board used by a seller of imported salmon. The country’s National Health Commission said there was no evidence showing the fish was either the origin or intermediate host for the virus, but salmon was still removed from major supermarkets. China’s custons department didn’t respond to a fax seeking comment.


Negative Tests ...