Smuggled Chinese Pork Seized, Swine Fever Feared

March 17, 2019
1 million lbs. seized in Newark port amid fears of African swine fever.

Agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized 1 million lbs. of pork in recent days at a Newark, N.J. port. The pork was smuggled from China, which is dealing with an outbreak of African swine fever that has depleted the country’s herd.

Media reports called the bust the largest seizure of agricultural products in the U.S. Bloomberg News, quoting a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, reported the pork arrived over the past few weeks in more than 50 shipping containers of ramen noodles and laundry detergent.

Not only was the shipment illegal, there was a fear it could contain traces of African swine fever. The disease, for which there is no cure, has caused China to kill nearly a million animals but it has never appeared in the U.S. Humans cannot be infected, but pig populations can be decimated. Bloomberg said China's pig herd is the biggest in the world.

The damage to China's pork industry could lead to a lessening of recent Chinese tariffs and other restrictions on U.S. pork, the result of trade dispute.

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