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U.S. Backlash Against China's 'Stupid' Swine Flu Policy

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.

Reader Comments


May 8, 2009 8:14 PM

This big mouth needs serious education. At least there is a case in canada that can prove Swine flu virus can pass from humans to pigs. How you can prove that the same virus does not pass from pigs to humans? China should treat swine flu seriously since China is a huge pork market and raising pigs is one of China's big businesses.


May 8, 2009 10:18 PM

funny, these coming out from the senator of a country that doesn't require high education for its citizens to be a senator.


May 9, 2009 6:29 PM

Maybe that not-well-educated Senator doesn't know that "All men are created equal as said in Declaration of Independence". For those polictitians, U.S. can ban anything from any country as please (see China fights U.S. poultry ban in WTO, but other countries should have no rights to protect themselves from potentially swine flu plagued pork meat.


May 9, 2009 7:13 PM

As reported by today's WP,, WHO warns that up to 2 Billion people might get swine flu. No matter what said by those North American politicians, this so called North America type-A Flu hasn't done its full damage yet. We better watch it out carefully for our own sake!


May 10, 2009 7:23 AM

Thanks for the good information, Peace4all1. So the US has already set a good example first by banning China's poultry exports but now whine it about China banning its pork exports for the same reason that it uses to ban China's poultry exports. Is that ignorance or hypocrisy or BOTH?


May 10, 2009 11:11 AM

Canada is killing pigs that have the type-A North America virus.


May 10, 2009 9:15 PM

I welcome the ban, no matter what. Canada is currently my least favorite country because of the nutty prime minister.


May 11, 2009 2:37 PM

As a senator, to be popular and to win votes is to blame China for
anything they can think of. It a real example of dirty politics and policians. I think having 2 senators per state is too many. They just pile higher and stink more.

jose nose

May 11, 2009 2:44 PM

I believe the Senator doesn't get their point of view. Here, at the time to take a decision, we put consequences after rights, law and other things. Over there in China (just my opinion) see that as stupid. They care about consequences much more than anything else. So the American Pigs (for once it is true!) have this thing that is cause for a virus: easy solution, no pig, no virus, no swine flu. For an American the chinese looks like sledgehammer, iron fist policy. For a Chinese the policy to let it potencial problems is stupid.
Maybe they DO know and understand that Science so far has determined that the virus ony pass y contact. But I believe the bottom line is put the line overseas: No pigs, no pigs products, no virus, no problem. After all I have 1 billion population to protect, right.
You may also see this as consequence of the guy that got death penalty for one of those chinese tainted foods. So know it happens that the chinese one that is on the line for taking the decision 'CASUALLY REMEMBERS' that. ejem...I just have to cover my behind, you know, if just one gets death for the swine flu, he may see they are gonna put him on the line. So why to bother, just 'put the line overseas' and lets those capitalist pigs (just kidding, but pun intented) leave (or die) the american dream on american lives and territory

I wrote half serious, and without much thinking and more to show what I believe. Don't take as the ultimate truth


May 11, 2009 3:18 PM

America is so so famous for having fools as politicians.


May 11, 2009 5:09 PM

Most of the people who die from the H1N1 virus have never dealt with influenza before. Yankees get sick, but few of us need hospitalization.


May 11, 2009 5:40 PM

The criminalist U.S with its failed health policy to protect its citizens against swine flu now wants to be the model for the world (It doesn't want to look bad with the highest numbers).Exporting AAA rated financial toxic products are not enough, now it wants to export AAA rated flu virus


May 11, 2009 8:45 PM

Perhaps the senator should follow his own advice to others and commit 'seppuku' in Congress? I am sure the Democrats would be happy to provide him with one of their number as a second to wield the samurai sword for the coup de grace!


May 11, 2009 10:19 PM

To the Editors,

please evaluate the comments for trolls. The chinese gov has a long history of using informal agent provocateurs who give officials plausible deniability while whipping the populace into a frenzy with righteous indignant hate speech.

I predict, before long the general readers will start name calling, the trolls' tasks done.

In defense of chinese people, their officials aren't elected and so are not representative of highly compassionate, well educated People who live there.


May 12, 2009 12:17 AM

There were 2,618 cases in all the states except for Alaska, Arkansas and Mississippi in the south, and Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming in the north.
From one crisis after another.Another AAA rated product.


May 12, 2009 12:48 AM

Calling China 'stupid' and in need of educating is definitely a proven formula for cooperating with China.
No wait, I mean a proven formula for the OPPOSITE of cooperation.
Good job Chuck. You're really helping.


May 12, 2009 2:13 AM

some really strange and weird diseases have come out of Asia, such as SARS,...soo why not the precautions?


May 12, 2009 5:03 AM

what a poor Obama Administration ,because it has to continously make hard communication with those trouble makers.Inefficency is inevitible.What poor American citizens,beacuse they pay the tax to fund those ignorant senators doing foolish things on behalf of U.S.


May 12, 2009 6:37 AM

Everytime Senator Chuck Grassley opens his oversized mouth, he ends up putting his foot in it.. time for him to just shut up


May 12, 2009 7:14 AM

Half the world's pig are reared in China. Mongolian and Tibetan nomads whole life depend on the their cattle herds.

So it goes without saying China needs to protect itself from Swine flus and Mad-cow diseases from abroad.


May 12, 2009 1:38 PM

This show us how SMART these politicians are. And we are paying their salaries and perks. Time to get someone else. Garbage mouths.

Chinese man

May 12, 2009 9:11 PM

This US senator is a funny little man. We Chinese will do what we deem fit with our own country little man. If you don't like it mister poo poo to you.


May 12, 2009 9:47 PM

this senator has prejudice against China, it's no surprise he said that. Pig headed senator will surely make a name for targeting China.


May 12, 2009 9:50 PM

I thought politicians are supposed to be political, but there're always exceptions to the rule, and Grassley proves just that.

I'm not sure if the title should have been "US backlash" or it's simply "Grassley backlash". In any case, calling your potential customers stupid is not the best way to come buy from you again any time soon.

Grassley just shuts his stupid mouth up.


May 13, 2009 12:31 AM

Any of these senators gave a hoot (Senator Obama included, when was), when the diseases of subprime loans, predatory credit card interest rates, mortgage securitization, mortgage frauds raced through America. Making a loud din to draw attention elsewhere, a technique of the street pickpocket, what is being slipped under this time? What's not said that is more, much more, important. BW writers please keep yours eyes peeled and look under the hood.


May 16, 2009 12:21 AM

This is the same idiot that said medical cannabis was a fraud. He has a point, but you can never be too careful. You are just as likely to transfer H1N1 between pigs and humans as you are any other animal, however, but it is still smart to limit contact with countries experiencing problems with a potentially problematic flu. All food coming from Mexico (not just pork, which I don't think we import anyway) should be checked for disease.


May 18, 2009 4:15 PM

I agree that this shows how "SMART and WELL-EDUCATED" this senator and the editors are! As someone from China who also prays for the peace and prosperity of America, I feel so upset for those conceited and impudent person who don't open their mind and purely inflate themselves by blaming others.


May 26, 2009 2:30 PM

I was in an online discussion with another blog ( about how the swine flu (H1N1) is a misnomer given that the H1N1 virus originated from muliple sources including swine but not entirely attributed to them.


June 28, 2009 3:08 PM

I am so surprised that such an uneducated man like him can be a senior senator of the United States. If all other senators of the States are alike, then I guess any third world country will surpass U.S. in less than 50 years.

C. H. Ng

June 30, 2009 12:53 AM

Oh..I am not surprised at all, not at all. So what if this is USA or any other country for the matter. You still can find some idiots in high places, be it in the senate or whatsoever. And if you care to go through thoroughly, you will notice that idiots do tend to have loud mouths.

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