meat supermarket
© CC0
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials seized 1 million pounds of pork products at the Newark, New Jersey maritime point of entry Friday. The meat is believed to have been smuggled from China, where there is currently an outbreak of the African swine fever (ASF).

During a Friday news conference, officials announced the seizure of over 50 shipping containers containing pork products.

"Agriculture specialists made a critical interception of these prohibited animal products, and stopped them from entering the US before they could potentially cause grave damage," Troy Miller, director of CBP field operations for the cities of New York and Newark, announced, reported.

The ASF virus, while posing little threat to humans, is deadly for pig populations. In January, China reported an outbreak of the disease on a pig farm partly owned by a Danish investment fund, Reuters reported at the time.

The farm is the largest to have been affected by the disease, and since that time over 100 farms across China were infected beginning in August 2018. Over 200,000 pigs on infected farms were subsequently culled, Reuters reported.

A case of ASF has never been reported in the US. However, if it does affect American livestock, the disease could cause a $10 billion loss in the pork industry in just a single year, Miller reported.

US authorities, including officials from the US Department of Agriculture, are investigating the crime.

The Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal, run by The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, is one of the largest and busiest ports of entry in the United States.