News last update:6 Aug 2012

China keeps violating US food standards

China is a top violator of US food safety standards, with US authorities last month rejecting 257 Chinese food shipments — far more than from any other country, US media reported Sunday.

At least 137 food shipments were rejected as "filthy" after testing positive for salmonella, or for containing banned ingredients.

The Food and Drug Administration last month seized more than 1,000 shipments of tainted dietary supplements, toxic cosmetics and counterfeit medicines from China.

A good portion of the rejected Chinese shipments each month includes fish and seafood like catfish, shrimp, mahi-mahi, tilapia, eel and yellow fin tuna.

Other Chinese imports that failed inspection include herbal teas, bean curd, candy, dried apples, dried peaches and peanut milk, while non-food rejects included catheters and lip gloss.

The burgeoning food import scandal has been spotlighted because of the recent highly publicized contamination of dog and cat food ingredients from China.

Market dominance
China, which exports about $2 billion each year in food products, not only is a cheap supplier of a growing number of important food products, but for some key foodstuffs it is virtually the sole purveyor.

For instance, China now is dominating the world's production of ascorbic acid, which is a valuable preservative that is ubiquitous in processed foods.

US companies have become so dependent on the Chinese exports that they may be reluctant to reduce the flow of goods.

US agriculture officials also have seized hundreds of tonnes of prohibited poultry products from China and other Asian countries over the past year, including some shipped in crates labelled "dried lily flower," and "prune slices."

Menu Foods drops Chinese ingredients
Menu Foods, North America's biggest maker of wet pet foods and the company that launched the pet food recall, is phasing out ingredients from China.

It won't resume using them until Menu and the "world community" are assured that they are safe, says Menu's outside counsel, David Lillehaug of Fredrikson & Byron.

Editor AllAboutFeed

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