China suspends meat imports from Canada after forged paperwork found

A customer shops for pork at a supermarket in Huaibei city, east China's Anhui province, November 9, 2018. [File Photo: IC]. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

OTTAWA, Jun 26, 2019, China Plus. China has suspended imports of all meat products from Canada starting Tuesday after veterinary health certificates were found to have been forged, China’s embassy in Ottawa confirmed on Wednesday, June 26, reported the China Plus.

China’s customs authorities recently found residues of ractopamine in a batch of pork products imported from Canada. Imports from the relevant companies were immediately suspended, and China asked Canada to carry out an investigation.

“The subsequent investigation revealed that the official veterinary health certificates attached to the batch of pork exported to China were counterfeit and the number of those forgery certificates was up to 188,” said the spokesperson for China’s embassy in Ottawa.

The spokesperson said the forged certificates were sent to regulatory authorities in China through the official Canadian government channel, which they said indicates that Canada’s meat export supervision system has safety loopholes.

“We hope 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,” said the spokesperson.

Justine Lesage, a spokeswoman for Canada’s agriculture minister, said in a statement that the Canadian Food and Inspection Agency identified an issue involving inauthentic export certificates, which could affect the export of pork and beef products to China. She said the agency has “taken measures to address this issue and is continuing to work closely with industry partners and Chinese officials.”

“The Canadian food system is one of the best in the world and we are confident in the safety of Canadian products and Canadian exports,” she said.

In 2018, Canada shipped pork to China worth about 500 million Canadian dollars, which it around 380 million U.S. dollars.

(Story includes material sourced from AP.)

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