* The United States has decided to drop India and Turkey from its list of developing countries receiving preferential trade treatment.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer made the announcement on Monday and said that the two countries “no longer comply with the statutory eligibility criteria” of the US’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programme.
Indian trade officials said the move will not result in retaliatory trade tariffs and that the country’s removal from the programme would have a limited impact.
The GSP programme is aimed at promoting economic development in certain countries by allowing them to export a number of goods to the United States completely duty free.
* The Czech Republic has refused the European Commission’s request to relax import measures on beef from Poland following the discovery of salmonella. The new measures require all importers to test Polish beef, at their expense, at an accredited lab before placing it on the market.
The European Commission wants the measures scrapped because it believes they do not warrant the situation and place an unnecessary burden on Czech operators. It will now vote on whether to intervene and order an end to the measures.
* China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has called on authorities to up the country’s ability to prevent and control African swine fever.
China has been struggling to keep the deadly swine disease under control since last year August and has so far reported 110 outbreaks and culled more than 1m pigs.
The ministry urged authorities to take action against illegal activities that undermine disease combat efforts, such as concealing outbreaks, selling sick animals, improperly disposing of carcasses, and feeding kitchen waste to pigs.
* Rabobank predicts that African swine fever will further affect pork production in China in 2019, possibly resulting in a 1m-2m tonne shortfall in supply.
This, it beliefs, will cause Chinese consumers to turn to other protein sources, including beef, poultry, seafood and lamb.
* Turkey has launched an investigation into 23 local supermarkets to determine whether they broke the country’s competition rules when setting prices for water, fruits, and vegetables.
* The US Department of Agriculture is planning to combat meat and poultry recalls by issuing new guidelines to food producers.
Under the new rules food companies will need to inform the government within 24 hours of discovering that unsafe food products made it to market.
They will also need to launch internal investigations after receiving a customer complaint.
Following the new guidelines, however, will be voluntary.