China To Halt Canadian Meat Imports

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 | 944 Views

Reported by The Straits Times, China has requested the Canadian government to suspend all imports of meat to China after “forged” export certificates were discovered.

In a statement on the Chinese Embassy website, China launched an investigation after inspections found residues of a feed additive—ractopamine in Canadian pork that was not accepted by China. The probe uncovered as many as 188 “counterfeit” veterinary health documents and the existence of “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,” the statement said.

“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,” it added.

Canadian Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in a statement that the Canadian Food and Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed it had found “inauthentic export certificates”.

“CFIA is investigating this technical issue and has informed appropriate law enforcement agencies. This incident is specific to export certificates to China. Export certificates to other countries are not affected,” Bibeau said.

China is Canada’s third-largest export market—China bought C$310 million worth of Canadian pork in the first four months of 2019, according to official statistics.

Canadian pork producers could take a big hit from this as the pork exports to China represent 22.7 percent of Canada’s total.

The move also comes at a difficult time for Chinese pork consumers. China’s sow herd is being closely watched by the global livestock market as an epidemic of incurable African swine fever has killed millions of animals in the world’s most populous country, pushing up prices.