The country's top watchdog on quality announced on Friday punishments for
three companies for exporting substandard products, but said three other alleged
unsafe Chinese products - tires, ceramic cooking pots and candies - were up to
Authorities have revoked the business licenses of two companies that exported
wheat protein tainted with toxic chemicals. They have been banned from exporting
and importing, according to the General Administration of Quality Supervision,
Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ).
The two companies had "unlawfully added melamine in some of its protein
products exported to the US," AQSIQ Minister Li Changjiang said at a State
Council Information Office press conference. The tainted wheat gluten was
reportedly found in food for dogs and cats in North America.
Li said that the companies had managed to evade quality inspection by
labeling their products as chemical ingredients, which are not subject to
administration has also closed down the factory of another Chinese manufacturer
involved in a drug poisoning incident in Panama. The business license of the
Glycerin Factory of Taixing in Jiangsu Province has also be revoked.
The government said on May 31, that the factory mislabeled the industrial use
of glycerin, but said a Panamanian trading firm was also culpable because it
changed the scope of use and shelf life of the product.
Li also defended a producer of tires the US had recalled for allegedly being
unsafe, a firm that produced ceramic cooking pots Japan claimed contained lead,
and a candy maker whose products were allegedly found to contain formaldehyde in
"Our investigations and tests found no problems with these products," he
said, adding that the US and Japanese sides had confirmed that the tires and
pots were up to standard while the Philippines would not offer relevant data on
the candies tested.
Li stressed that his agency attached great importance to the safety of
Chinese products and was working responsibly to address concerns over recent
food safety issues.
"I think the great majority of Chinese food products are safe," he said. "But
we shall also squarely face the problems and enhance supervision over small food
processing plants whose products are sometimes substandard."
The minister said food safety was not only China's concern, but also the
common responsibility of all countries.
"We shall intensify international cooperation as well," he said.
He said China will meet the US at the end of the month to discuss a block of
its seafood exports and a memorandum of understanding on food safety.
A vice-minister-level meeting has also been scheduled for next month to
discuss details in the memorandum.
(China Daily 07/21/2007 page1)