Canada allegedly forged customs certificates for meat they exported to China
The Chinese government has recently announced the suspension of imports of meat products from Canada due to forged customs documents, this being a new sign of deteriorating relations between these two countries.
The Chinese embassy in Canada says the decision was triggered by the discovery of “ractopamine residues” in a batch of pork sent by Canadian company Frigo Royal at the beginning of this month.
According to the Hong Kong Center for Food Safety, ractopamine is a veterinary drug and animal feed additive banned in Mainland China due to concerns over the possible negative effects it can have on consumer health, which however, is allowed in the United States and Canada.
After the discovery, China immediately suspended Frigo Royal’s import license, but a following investigation by Canadian authorities found 188 forged veterinary certificates for exported meat products. Therefore, Beijing announced the Canadian government to stop issuing health certificates for meat exported after June 25, thus cutting off Canadian suppliers. The Chinese embassy’s statement read:
“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.”
Afterwards, Canadian Agriculture Minister, Marie Claude Bibeau, issued a statement saying:
“The Canadian Food and Inspection Agency (CFIA) identified an issue involving inauthentic export certificates that could affect the export of pork and beef products to China. The CFIA has taken measures to address this issue and is continuing to work closely with industry partners and Chinese officials. 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.”