China rejects shipment of U.S. orange pulp and apricots
In what appears to be a growing tit-for-tat series of product safety incidents, the Chinese government on Tuesday announced the seizure of shipments of U.S.-made orange pulp and dried apricots claimed to contain high levels of bacteria and preservatives.
Chinese import officials have been specifically ordered 'to strengthen quarantine and inspections on food imports from America,' according to a notice announcing the seizures posted on the Web site of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.
The government also told importers in the notice to “make sure that food safety requirements are met in contracts when importing U.S. food so that trade risks are lowered.”
The orange pulp shipment, from the Modern Skill Co. Ltd., and the apricot shipment, from Vacaville, Calif.-based Mariani Packing Co. Inc., was seized in the eastern province of Shandong and the southern coastal town of Shenzhen. The notice did not specify which shipment was seized in which location.
Both shipments were described by Chinese officials as containing “excessive bacteria, mold and sulfur dioxide.”
The notice did not detail when the seizures took place, how big the shipments were nor in which city each shipment was seized.
A growing number of Chinese exports have been banned or turned away by U.S. inspectors for high levels of toxins or potentially deadly chemicals. The products include frozen fish, juice and toothpaste. The deaths of some pets in the United States have been linked to a dog food additive that contained the chemical melamine, normally used in plastics manufacture.
On the other side of the ocean, Chinese inspectors in the ports of Ningbo and Shenzhen turned away or destroyed shipments of health supplements and raisins earlier this month, saying the products failed to meet safety standards.