China Returns Fire in Food Fight

Despite building international scrutiny of China's food exports, the country has suspended imports from some U.S. meat and poultry processors.

Published on: Jul 16, 2007

Earlier this year, tainted wheat gluten imported into the U.S. from China killed pets around the country and caused the quarantine of thousands of chickens and hogs. The U.S., Japan and other countries have turned back Chinese-made seafood, toothpaste and toys.

Now, China's quarantine bureau is suspending some meat imports from top U.S. meat and poultry processors, citing safety concerns of its own.

The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine says that salmonella was found in frozen chicken meat from Tyson Foods, the largest U.S. meat processor, while frozen chicken feet shipped by Sanderson Farms had residues of growth enhancers and anti-parasite drugs.

"We were surprised to see our name on the list," says Winnie Fang, China regional manager for AJC International Inc., in a Reuters report. Her company distributes pork products from Tyson in China and had its frozen pork shipments suspended.

Imports of frozen pork ribs from Cargill Meat Solutions Corp., have been suspended for 45 days from July 7, according to a notice posted on its website on Friday.

China also suspended salted pig innards from Triumph Foods, frozen chicken feet from Intervision Foods and frozen pig ears from Van Luin Foods USA.

U.S. hog futures had risen due partly to expectations of more pork demand in China after outbreaks of blue ear disease thinned the country's domestic supply.