China returns tainted soybeans
China's quality supervisor said it had returned
460 tonnes of soybeans imported from the United States because they contained
live Khapra beetles - an extremely destructive pest of grain products and
The soybeans, in 21 containers, were seized at Huangpu Port in Guangzhou,
Guangdong Province, according to a circular from the General Administration of
Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ).
"It's the first
time that China found such a pest in imported soybeans," the circular
World's most serious pest
The Khapra beetle is considered one of the world's
most serious pests to stored grain products, such as wheat, rice, corn and
broomcorn, as well as beans and nuts.
The beetle may cause grain damage
of up to 30%, although 75% damage has also been reported. The beetle is mainly
spread by trade, because it cannot fly.
The AQSIQ also said in the
circular that the US soybeans also contained some other live pests and weeds
that could threaten local agriculture.
"According to laws and
regulations, we've decided to return the soybeans and suspend the import from
The Scoular Company, the supplier," the circular said.
It said the batch of soybeans had received official inspection
and quarantine certificates from the United States, so AQSIQ had asked the US
side to investigate and improve its export inspection and quarantine
The Scoular Company is a century-old
agricultural marketing company with annual sales of $2 billion.
It is not
the first time China has reported problematic soybeans from the US. Late last
month, the AQSIQ said that it had recently found "substantial" quality-related
problems with imports of US oilseed. It said soybeans shipped from the US often
contained harmful weeds, or herbicide residue.
Soybeans are the biggest
single US farm export to China, according to the American Soybean Association.
Last year, more than 10 million tonnes of soybeans were exported from the US to
Counter reaction to unsafe Chinese products
media said the moves are knee-jerk reactions to the recent American reports on
unsafe Chinese products, including seafood, tires and toys.
Chinese authorities denied the claim, saying that all the moves are normal
practice according to rules and regulations.
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