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Skelton says American pork is safe
Skelton says American pork is safe

Congressman Ike Skelton
WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 28, 2009) — Today, Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) wrote a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk commending their joint statement on the safety of the United States food supply. In the letter, Congressman Skelton notes that the H1N1 human influenza, also referred to as the “swine flu,” does not spread by food.

A copy of the Congressman’s letter is set forth below:

_____

April 28, 2009

The Honorable Tom Vilsack
Secretary of Agriculture
Washington, D.C. 20250

The Honorable Ron Kirk
U.S. Trade Representative
Washington, D.C. 20508

Dear Secretary Vilsack and Trade Representative Kirk,

Earlier today, I was pleased to read your joint statement reiterating the safety of the U.S. food supply. Your clear and concise message on this issue is important to American farmers whose livelihoods should not be hindered by non-scientific, emotional reactions to the current outbreak of H1N1 human influenza.

American pork is safe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that H1N1 human influenza, also known as the “swine flu,” is not spread by food and that humans cannot acquire this virus by eating pork or pork products.

As someone who has worked to open international markets to American pork and other agricultural commodities, I would be terribly disappointed if our trading partners attempt to restrict pork imports based on unproven concerns about this strain of human influenza. Unwise actions by other countries would make the current situation worse and would wreak unnecessary havoc on the futures market for pork, corn, soybeans, and other commodities.

I am hopeful that your statement will reassure American farmers that their government is looking out for their interests and will entice trading partners to act wisely.

With kind regards, I remain
Very truly yours,
Ike Skelton
Member of Congress

Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) serves as Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Congressman Skelton’s website is at http://www.house.gov/skelton.

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