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Russia, China asked to lift ban on pork

May 2, 2009 at 12:50 PM

MOSCOW, May 2 (UPI) -- Swine flu cannot be spread through food, U.S. trade officials said Saturday in urging China and Russia to lift a ban on raw pork from the United States.

U.S. Trade Secretary Gary Locke urged lifting the ban in letters to Alexei Kudrin, Russia's deputy prime minister, and Chen Deming, China's trade minister, RIA Novosti reported.

"Government actions during this time of economic uncertainty and international concern about influenza must be based on scientific evidence," Locke said. "There should be no restrictions on trade without cause."

Russia and China imposed the ban last week following the flu outbreak in Mexico that has spread to the United States and other countries.

Russia and China import nearly 20 percent of all U.S. pork exports, RIA Novosti reported.

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