DES MOINES — Trade officials from the United States, Canada and Mexico are seeking an immediate end to bans on pork prompted by the H1N1 flu outbreak, according to The Associated Press. A statement from Ron Kirk, U.S. Trade Representative, was released May 7 charging the ban isn't based on scientific measures.

To date, 16 countries have slapped bans on pork or pork products. The largest is China, which has banned imports of live pigs, pork and pork products from 38 states, including Iowa, the largest pork producer in the U.S.

Earlier this week, the World Health Organization issued a statement saying there is no evidence the virus is transmitted by food and calling the bans unjustified.

Serious trade disruptions and significant economic damage will likely be the result of these unjustified bans, said U.S., Canadian and Mexican trade officials.