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In just a few weeks, from April 6 to June 6, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists assigned to the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport, intercepted 19,555 pounds of prohibited pork, chicken, beef and duck products arriving from China.

In the first five months of fiscal year 2020, the interception of prohibited meats from China at the LA/Long Beach Seaport has increased 70% compared with the same period the year before.

Most of the unmanifiested animal products were commingled in boxes of headphones, door locks, kitchenware, LCD tablets, trash bags, swim fins, cell phone covers, plastic cases and household goods in a clear attempt to smuggle the prohibited meats.

According to USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, China is a country affected by African swine fever, classical swine fever, Newcastle disease, foot-and-mouth disease, highly pathogenic avian influenza and swine vesicular disease.

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The US agencies have issued letters to seven companies, and removed online listings from others, whose products falsely claim to prevent or treat coronavirus.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have issued warning letters to seven companies for selling fraudulent COVID-19 products that claim to treat or prevent the virus. At current there is no approved prevention or therapy for coronavirus.

According to the agencies, the products being sold are unapproved and pose a significant risk to patient health, as they may be unsafe for consumption and/or stop or delay patients getting necessary medical diagnoses and treatments.

The companies selling these products are violating federal law and may be subject to legal action, including but not limited to seizure or injunction, emphasise the organisations.

 

 

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The legislation seeks to provide the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Organic Program with between $15m and $20m a year from 2018 to 2023 to upgrade compliance and enforcement actions in the US and abroad. An additional $5m would also be provided to improve tracking of international organic trade and data collection systems to ensure full traceability of imported products.

The proposed legislation follows a report last month, which found the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (has oversight of the National Organic Program) was lacking in its control and oversight of imported products labelled as organic and concluded that some fraudulent and mislabelled products could be slipping through customs into the US.

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