A month of accusations and denials concerning Chinese product safety culminated with shipments of US goods being refused entry at China’s ports mid-June. Officials claimed the shipments were contaminated but this didn’t stop talk of a tit-for-tat.
A scandal that started with the discovery of unsafe Chinese pet food in the US gathered momentum as America issued a warning against Chinese-made toothpaste after contaminated products were found at customs.
China denounced US handling of the case as “neither scientific nor responsible.” It was noted that 99% of all food exported to the US between 2004 and 2006 passed inspection.
However, further evidence was seen of Beijing’s renewed focus on food safety with the public release of a first five-year plan to improve food and drug safety standards.
The document highlights the trade implications of poor inspection systems and undisciplined food production, and provides a framework for improving and regulating the food and pharmaceutical industries.