Almost two-thirds of China's consumers stopped eating pork in the early stages of the 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak, and more than one in five consumers in China still believe that eating pork can cause them to catch the flu virus, according to a survey of 1,200 Chinese consumers commissioned in August by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Despite efforts by the Chinese government to educate consumers regarding the safety of pork, 54.7% of those who fear the connection between pork and the flu virus said that it is because the virus has been labeled "swine flu."


"The research suggests that the initial Chinese consumer reaction to H1N1 was sharp, and that a significant number of consumers may still associate the virus with pork and hogs," said Joel Haggard, senior vice president Asia-Pacific for USMEF.