Jun 11, 2009

Pork Wars: Love Your Enemy

If you didn't hear, the World Health Organization has elevated the H1N1A virus (swine flu) to pandemic levels. This prompted WHO Chief Margaret Chan to repeat the now-familiar mantra, “Countries should not close borders or impose travel restrictions to halt the movement of people, goods and services due to a geographical expansion of the virus.”

Looks like Russia didn't get the memo. At least, that would explain why Russian officials have expanded the ban on pork imports from the United States. Last week it was pork from Utah. This week it's Pennsylvanian pork.

Officially, the ban on American pork is supposed to prevent the spread of H1N1A, even if pork does not spread the virus. "That ban on trade is unnecessary,” said Chris Ryder at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.


Well, it that all depends on your definition of unnecessary, Mr. Ryder. According to RIA Novosti, “A Russian government official earlier [stated] that Russia is not overly concerned with the new pandemic.”

Ok then, maybe the ban is unnecessary. But why American pork?

Clearly, the Kremlin is trying to protect the domestic pig-farming industry by forcing Russian consumers to buy lower-quality Russian pork. However, it also happens to make Russian agricultural officials look backward and ill-informed, since pork products don’t actually transmit H1N1A. Then again, all of this derives from the same government mind-set that once claimed the Soviet Union was free of all STD’s.

None. Zero. Not in the Worker’s Paradise.

More smoked ham anyone?


The Expatresse said...

Speaking of "no STDs," did you see yesterday's Moscow Times? The story about sex ed? Seems the average Russian parent doesn't want any nasty ol' sex ed sucking the joy and romance out of a relationship. Never mind that Russia has epidemic rates of HIV/AIDS in the under-25 crowd. Now it seems we find out most young Russians don't have the basics of sex education . . . dare I say it (here, where you get to deal with any residual flak), but might this lack of "knowledge" equate to a partial, at least, explanation of why Russian women seem to enjoy the company of oft times dorky Western men? Could it be Russian men might not know female anatomy and how it works?

I'm just sayin' . . .

But I digress. The "No American Pork" thing is clearly to limit the foreign imports.

Pirates(and)Diplomats said...

Haha, oh boy Expatresse. I'm going to stay away from that part about Russian men and female anatomy. =)

But yeah, this pork war is going to get worse, I fear.


But I can't understand, why do they put ban on pork imports in a state-by-state, and not once-but-all manner? Lol, do they pave the way for probable future admission of some of these states into Russian Federation, like let's say Alaska? :))))

Pirates(and)Diplomats said...

Ah-ha! That could explain the new customs union with Belarus and Kazakhstan (and Alaska)? =)

Mrta said...

Kudos to Expatresse for jumping from pork to...um, porkin'. :)

The Expatresse said...

Hey, it's what I do . . . take a perfectly reasonable topic and hijack it to something that is totally inappropriate for dinner time conversation.

Think very carefully about where you seat me at a party.