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China Bans Canadian Meat Imports


China urged Canada to suspend exporting its meat products to the country after customs authorities found that veterinary health certificates attached to a consignment of pork were bogus.

The Chinese Customs authorities found residues of ractopamine, a banned feed additive, in a batch of pork products exported from Canada to China.

Following this, the Chinese government suspended the import of pork products from the Canadian supplier, and sought an investigation by its Canadian counterpart. The supplier in question is Frigo Royal Inc., AFP reports.

The subsequent investigation carried out by Canadian federal police revealed that the official veterinary health certificates attached to the batch of pork exported to China were counterfeit. The investigators found that 188 such certificates were forged.

The Canadian authorities consider this incident as criminal offense, China's embassy in Ottawa said in a statement on Tuesday.

"These forged certificates were sent to the Chinese regulatory authorities through Canadian official certificate notification channel, which reflects that the Canadian meat export supervision system has obvious safety loopholes".

The Embassy said that in order to protect the safety of Chinese consumers, Beijing has taken urgent preventive measures and requested the Canadian government to suspend the issuance of certificates for meat exported to China from June 25.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said it has stopped issuing export certificates to China for all pork and beef products. The agency clarified that this action is not the result of a food safety concern but the misuse of Canada's reputation as a supplier of safe quality products.

The Chinese diplomatic office expressed hope that the Canadian side would attach great importance to this incident, complete the investigation as soon as possible, and take effective measures to ensure the safety of food exported to China in a more responsible manner.

China is a major market for Canadian meat, having imported 22 per cent of pork shipped from Canada in the first quarter of this year. China's share of imported Canadian beef products during the same period is 6 percent, worth $64 million.

Canada-China ties are strained over the detention of Sabrina Meng Wanzhou, the Chief Financial Officer of Huawei Technologies Co., on a US warrant, and China's arrest of two Canadians in apparent response.

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