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Chinese -US talks on seafood exports, food safety and co-operation

by the Fish Site Editor
02 August 2007, at 1:00am

BEIJING - China has said it would work with the US to improve product safety. Chinese product safety official, Wei Chuanzhong, said that it attaches great importance to product quality and food safety and is highly responsible.

"We want to co-operate with other countries including the US to strengthen co-operation and communication," Wei was quoted as saying.

However, Wei added that while China would not avoid our problems, it did not agree to play up the situation regardless of the facts.

"We shouldn't use problems found in one product to block all products," Wei said, acknowleding Chinese concerns that scattered safety violations are threatening the reputation of Chinese exports as a whole.

China has recognised safety problems, but says other countries are grappling with similar issues and insists that its products should not be unfairly singled out.

Wei's comments came during a meeting with visiting U.S. Health and Human Services official Rich McKeown on Wednesday.

The delegation's five-day visit is centered around developing systems for ensuring the safety of food, feed, drugs and medical devices exported from China.

Talks have also touched on a U.S. block of Chinese catfish, basa, dace, shrimp and eel after repeated testing turned up contamination by drugs that have not been approved in the United States for farmed seafood.

Fears were triggered earlier this year after a Chinese-made ingredient in pet food was linked to the deaths of cat and dogs in North America. Since then, juice, toothpaste and seafood have joined an expanding list of Chinese goods that have been banned or recalled around the world because they contain potentially dangerous levels of chemicals and toxins.

Source: International herald tribune

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