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USDA and FDA Issue Joint Statement on Food Export Restrictions Related to COVID-19

July 1, 2020

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Food and Drug Administrator Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D, reiterated on June 24 that, “There is no evidence that people can contract COVID-19 from food or from food packaging.” The declaration was part of a joint statement made in response to food export restrictions pertaining to COVID-19.

“The United States understands the concerns of consumers here domestically and around the world who want to know that producers, processors and regulators are taking every necessary precaution to prioritize food safety especially during these challenging times. However, efforts by some countries to restrict global food exports related to COVID-19 transmission are not consistent with the known science of transmission,” Secretary Perdue and Commissioner Hahn wrote. A press release on their statement is available here.

Also, in response to reports that Chinese Customs is requiring a Letter of Undertaking of Safety of Import Food for food shipments, Western Growers President and CEO Dave Puglia stated in a June 26 press release, “The recent move by Chinese authorities to require a statement of undertaking for food importers is not based on any legitimate food safety concern.” He added, “…the known science behind the transmission of COVID-19 is inconsistent with the Chinese government’s call for more restrictive food safety-related trade measures.”