Perdue, Hahn criticize efforts to block exports without COVID-19 free certification
U.S. officials say efforts by countries including China that wish to restrict food exports over concerns of transmitting coronavirus “are not consistent with the known science of transmission.”
Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue and Commissioner Stephen Hahn with the Food and Drug Administration issued a statement Wednesday criticizing their demands for certifying some foods as COVID-19 free. Perdue and Hahn say there is no evidence that people can contract COVID-19 from food or from food packaging, and add that the U.S. food safety system they oversee is the global leader in ensuring the safety of our food products, including product for export.
China is reportedly seeking documents from shippers of soybeans and meat in the U.S., Brazil, and other countries assuring them the products are free from the novel coronavirus.
The agency leaders also say COVID-19 guidelines from CDC and OSHA for protecting processing plant workers are separate and distinct from the food safety requirements that all U.S. food facilities must follow.