China seeks to ban Canadian meat, cites forged certificates

Daniel Fowler
June 26, 2019

The spokesman explained that the decision comes after the feed additive "ractopamine", which is permitted in Canada but banned in China, was found in Canadian pork shipments. "The Canadian side believes that this incident is criminal offence", said the embassy statement.

The Chinese Embassy in Canada has asked Canada to suspend all meat exports, a move that continues a diplomatic and trade dispute between the two nations ahead of the G20 summit later this week.

China already has halted imports from three Canadian pork producers over food safety issues - two in May and another earlier this month - as trade tensions between the two countries have escalated.

The Chinese suspension started Tuesday.

China is therefore taking "urgent preventive measures" to protect Chinese customers and has asked the Canadian government to suspend all meat-export certificates, the embassy said.

Shaye concluded by saying he hopes that 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".

"The Canadian food system is one of the best in the world and we are confident in the safety of Canadian products and Canadian exports", she said.

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The circumstances leading to the decision by PACE to limit Russia's voting rights after the annexation of Crimea in 2014 have not changed, he said.

The meat controversy comes amid soured Chinese and Canadian relations since the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the finance chief of technology giant Huawei who is facing possible extradition to the United States where she faces charges of violating sanctions against Iran.

"CFIA is investigating this technical issue and has informed appropriate law enforcement agencies".

Since then, China has arrested two Canadians - Michael Kovrig and Michael Spravor - on charges of spying, and sentenced another, Robert Schellenberg, who had been serving a 15-year prison sentence, to death for drug smuggling.

A senior Canadian government official, speaking on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the dispute, described the matter as a "technical issue" to The Canadian Press. She has denied any wrongdoing and Beijing has demanded her release.

Before acting against Canadian meat, China previously stopped importing certain Canadian products like canola. Canada says the arrest of the two men was arbitrary.

China will turn away any "meat products" shipped from Canada starting on Wednesday, according to a report in Le Journal de Montreal, citing an official in the office of the Chinese consulate general in Montreal. It will be the first time Trump and Xi sit down together since trade talks between the world's two largest economies broke down in May of past year. 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.

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