China rejects two substandard US food products

Updated: 2007-06-26 14:02

BEIJING -- Chinese inspectors have seized shipments of US-made orange pulp and dried apricots containing high levels of bacteria and preservatives, the government said Tuesday.

Local departments have been ordered "to strengthen quarantine and inspections on food imports from America," according to a notice announcing the seizures posted on the Web site of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, China's main food safety monitor.

Importers have been asked to "make sure that food safety requirements are met in contracts when importing US food so that trade risks are lowered," the notice said.

The orange pulp and apricots were seized in the eastern province of Shandong and the southern boomtown of Shenzhen, the notice said.

The pulp, from the Modern Skill Co. Ltd., and the fruit from Vacaville, California-based Mariani Packing Company Inc., contained "excessive bacteria, mold and sulfur dioxide," the notice said.

The safety administration notice said the pulp was still being processed but that the apricots had been destroyed.

A man who answered the telephone at the safety administration said he had no more details beyond what was on the Web site.

A security guard who answered the phone at Mariani Packing said the office was closed and there was no immediate response to messages left seeking comment.

In recent months, US inspectors have banned or turned away a growing number of Chinese exports containing high levels of toxins or potentially deadly chemicals, including frozen fish, juice and toothpaste.

Earlier this month, inspectors in the ports of Ningbo and Shenzhen turned away or destroyed shipments of health supplements and raisins because they said the products did not meets safety standards.

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