China’s consumer quality watchdog said that 35,000 metric tons of imported food products failed to pass quality inspections last year, up 325.2 percent year-on-year. Those products, coming from 82 countries and regions, had a total value of $56.54 million, up 135.5 percent year-on-year, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said in a white paper…Full Article: China Daily July 2017

Key Point

  • According to the AQSIQ, the safety of China’s imported food can be characterized as “generally stable”, with violations primarily resulting from excessive additives, microbial contamination and substandard quality.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In January 2017, the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration detected excessive chlorpyrifos on a sample of celery sold at Shanghai Lotus store. The celery was supplied by the Shanghai Jiangqiao Wholesale Market. The agency also detected excessive enrofloxacin residue in two samples of freshwater fish being sold at Walmart’s Jiangqiao store. The fish was supplied by Shanghai Yize Trade. In addition, a sample of pastry flour from Shanghai Rifen Food was found to contain excessive cadmium while a sample of dried bean curd (aka tofu) from Shanghai Zhengbiao Bean was found to contain excessive aluminum residue.
  • In 2016, according to the director of Shanghai’s office for the campaign against intellectual property infringements and counterfeit goods, city officials reportedly shut down more than 60,000 unlicensed online food vendors.
  • In August 2016, China’s General Office of the State Council announced it would dispatch food inspectors to test provincial government food safety. The State Council noted it would also ask provincial governments to grade their food safety performance, while a final grade (3-tiered grading scale) will be issued by national inspectors.
  • In June 2016, the Shanghai Municipal Food and Drug Administration fined four companies over food safety violations. The food safety violations affected Jiuguang Department Store (e. coli in 20 packs of mustard green peas), Yihaodian.com (lead in preserved plums from Anhui Zhongjun), Shanghai Shenghua Food (sulfanilic amide in cooked chicken legs), and Shanghai Shaowansheng Food (bacteria in salted conch).
  • In 2015, China had 770,000 public complaints pertaining to food and medicine (a 37% increase from 2014). Approximately 50% of the food and medicine violations in China were discovered via “public tip-offs.” The majority of the complaints stemmed from companies selling their products online from WeChat and other mobile phone applications. Complaints included operating without a license, substandard products, fake products, false advertising, and poor product labeling.
  • In October 2015, new Chinese laws regulating the production and distribution of infant formula powder came into effect. These laws include instituting a new registration system, production certificates (valid for 5 years), and imported infant formula must have certify its origin. According to a Chinese dairy expert, the new law will help regulate infant formula prices and limit the number of products a company can market.
  • In May 2015, the standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) passed a new food safety law would go into effect on 1 October 2015. The new law stipulated that infant formula producers must register their powdered milk formula with China’s food and drug regulator. In addition, the law has increased fines and punishments for producers who add inedible substances to their products as well as suppliers who sell illegal substances to producers.
  • In July 2014, Shanghai Husi, a division of US-based OSI Group LLC, was found to have sold expired meat to McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, Seven-Eleven and FamilyMart (Japan-based convenience store).
  • In June 2014, Vietnam notified China that fruit and vegetable imports from Guangxi, Yunnan and Shanghai contained excessive amounts of pesticide residue.
  • In May 2013, farmers in Shandong province were found to be using an illegal and highly toxic pesticide to grow ginger. One result was that Vietnam stepped up ginger inspections even though it does not undergo food safety tests since import volumes are generally so low.
  • In 2012, aldicarb (used to control nematodes and insect pests) was suspected in the deaths of 13 people in Anhui province after they reportedly ate cucumbers laced with the pesticide. During the same year, apple producers in Shandong province were accused of wrapping apples in pesticide-coated paper to maintain its appearance.

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