China suspends 188 Canadian health certificates
188 health certificates issued by China to Canadian pork producers were suspended after Beijing authorities discovered that were forged. In a statement, the Chinese embassy in Ottawa announced that residues of ractopamine were found in some batches of pig meat imported from Canada. "Recently, the Chinese Customs authorities have inspected ractopamine residues in a batch of pork products exported from Canada to China. Therefore, the Chinese side has immediately suspended the import of pork products from the relevant enterprises and required the Canadian side 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 statement.
The Chinese side mentioned that, at this moment, the Canadian meat export supervision system may present serious safety loopholes and asked for effective measures to be taken to ensure the safety of food exported to China.
"These forged certificates were sent to the Chinese regulatory authorities through the Canadian official certificate notification channel, which reflects that the Canadian meat export supervision system exists obvious safety loopholes. In order to protect the safety of Chinese consumers, China has taken urgent preventive measures and requested the Canadian government to suspend the issuance of certificates for meat exported to China since June 25.
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", added the embassy.
On the other hand, tensions between the two countries have emerged after the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver. Ms. Meng is the Chinese firm's chief financial officer and its founder's daughter. She is accused of breaking US sanctions on Iran and faces extradition to the US.
Two months ago, representatives of the pork industry in Canada were hoping to increase their presence in the Chinese market due to the African Swine Fever situation in the country. "China, again, is going through some challenges right now with African Swine Fever so they will be relying heavily on their import pork partners for supply and Canada is one of those suppliers so we are looking for our volume to grow in China.
Other good news for us is that we’ve started pilot projects with some Chinese end-user customers for chilled pork which is quite exciting for our industry. We’ve always done well in the frozen sector but this opens up a new category of trade us which we think will build over time and we’ll be working with our Chinese end-user partners to fully optimize that opportunity for Canada," declared in April Michael Young, Vice-President Technical Services and Marketing Programs with Canada Pork International.
In the last 10 years, China was the second export market for Canadian pork, right after the US. 2018 was the second highest year in terms of volume for Canadian pork exports, with 1.2 million tonnes shipped worldwide, registering an increase of 15% compared with figures reported in 2008.
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