Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on May 7, 2009
You know you have a good backlash brewing when Sen. Chuck Grassley weighs in. The Iowa Republican, who hit the headlines during the uproar over the AIG bonuses by saying company execs should kill themselves, is at it again, this time targeting China’s ban on pork imports as a way of fighting swine flu. Although the H1N1 virus spreads via human-to-human contact and not via consumption of pork, Beijing has restricted the import of pig meat from countries with swine flu cases.
So if you can’t get swine flu from eating ham or bacon, why is China banning American pork? Easy, says the senior senator from the great state of Iowa. “They’re stupid,” Radio Iowa reports Grassley saying. “They think that you eat meat, that you can contact swine flu from pigs. There’s no evidence whatsoever over decades that that’s the case, so they need to be educated.” Grassley and his fellow Iowa senator, Democrat Tom Harkin, say the Obama Administration should make this a trade issue as a possible WTO violation. If he wants the problem to go away quickly, though, Grassley will need to turn down the volume a bit. Chinese officials aren’t exactly well-known for responding kindly to insults.