China has restricted US food imports with Covid-19 related regulations, according to an analysis by the US Congress.
Despite a lack of evidence that Covid-19 is transmitted through food, US agricultural producers have reported restrictions related to the new coronavirus regarding shipments to certain countries.
Specifically, in China, there have been reports of testing of Covid-19 related products for imports of foods such as meat, seafood, fresh fruit, and bulk grains.
According to US fruit and vegetable exporters, China has also instituted administrative measures requiring registration of foreign manufacturers and a Letter of Commitment from foreign suppliers certifying that food imports are not contaminated with coronavirus.
Such additional regulatory requirements have the potential to impact world trade and could reduce or block United States food and agriculture exports.
In response, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a joint statement alleging that the United States is “taking all necessary precautions to prioritize the food safety especially during these difficult times “and reiterating that” there is no evidence that people can get Covid-19 from food or from food packaging. ”
The European Union has also stated that “to date, transmission of Covid-19 through food consumption has not been reported,” which is supported by the findings of its European Food Safety Authority.
Both the United States and the European Union have issued statements before the Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures of the World Trade Organization (WTO) arguing that these types of border restrictions are not based on risk.