Halt of Chinese seafood unacceptable

Updated: 2007-07-01 09:48

BEIJING - China can not accept the indiscriminate and automatic detention of four kinds of Chinese seafood by the United States and the ban on importing those products, a Chinese official in charge of quality supervision said.

Li Changjiang, director of the State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, made the remarks late Friday during a telephone conversation with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt to address the U.S. announcement to ban some Chinese seafood a day earlier.

Li urged the U.S. side to "properly deal with the problem as soon as possible."

He said that China also detected many substandard foodstuff among U.S. exports to China every year, and these problems were properly handled in the principle of cooperation.

Likewise, there might be isolated cases of Chinese enterprises exporting products with quality problems to the United States. However, "indiscriminate" ban of all exports of such Chinese aquatic products is "unacceptable", said Li.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Thursday it would detain three types of Chinese farm-raised fish -- catfish, basa and dace -- as well as shrimp and eel unless suppliers could prove the shipments contained no harmful residues unapproved in the U.S. for use in farmed seafood.

China has already adopted measures to solve the problems of the Chinese seafood complained by the U.S. side, Li said.

Li said the U.S. side should let the exports go after checking the sanitation certificates issued by China Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine.

The U.S. side said it would send a team to China soon to negotiate a solution to the seafood ban.

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