The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the pork industry yesterday reiterated the fact that the virulent strain of influenza from Mexico called swine flu has not been identified in hogs in the United States or anywhere in the world.
Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack said at a press conference Tuesday that people should stop referring to the influenza as swine flu.
"The livelihoods of a lot of people are at stake here," Vilsack said. "It is perfectly safe to consume pork and pork products from America."
Vilsack made his comments after Russia, China and Ukraine began banning pork products from some U.S. states, USA Today reported.
The U.S. agriculture industry and connected industries including farm equipment manufacturers could suffer if the ban were to spread to other countries.
Russia and China are two of the largest importers of U.S pork products and the bans sent prices lower for pork and animal feed.
Groups representing the $15 billion U.S. pork industry, including the National Pork Board, continued to reassure consumers that it is safe to eat pork.