Demands from China’s quality watchdog for health certificates on pork imported from the EU were not intended as a restriction but as a way to prevent the spread of the H1N1 flu virus, state media reported. EU Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou had earlier described the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine’s ramping up of inspections on pork imports as protectionist. The tougher testing included imports from Denmark, France, Italy and Spain. China imported 1.84 million tons of meat products in 2008. It has also become the world’s leading meat producer, with pork output at 44.59 million tons last year.