China has banned pork shipments from 17 more U.S. states bringing the total to 36 states that have been banned. The latest were the states of Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin. The ban applies to swine raised or slaughtered in those states on or after May 3.
The bans come despite repeated messages from health officials that people cannot contract the H1N1 virus from eating pork and other meats. Over the weekend, the World Health Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization, World Organization for Animal Health and World Trade Organization issued a joint statement repeating the message.
On Monday, Russia announced that beef, poultry and pork produced on or after May 2 in South Carolina, except for heat-treated product, is ineligible. It has placed similar bans on at least 10 U.S. states since the outbreak began.
"In light of the spread of influenza A/H1N1 and the rising concerns about the possibility of this virus being found in pigs and the safety of pork and pork products, we stress that pork and pork products, handled in accordance with good hygienic practices … will not be a source of infection," the groups said.
Canada also has been the subject of numerous trade bans, most recently implemented by China. Philippines, Singapore, Honduras and several other countries also have closed their borders to Canadian pork.