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Substandard US medical donations rejected
By Cao Deshang (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-12-10 06:34

China will return three containers of substandard medical supplies donated by US charity organizations, which included stained bedding, used surgical clothes and expired equipment.

The supplies entered China via Tianjin, and were sent to Anhui and Hebei provinces and Beijing. One container arrived in Beijing on November 4, and the contents were discovered by customs officials, Beijing Youth Daily reported.

Some of the medical equipment had a use-by date of 1998, while others items were found to have passed their probationary period after three checks in November by the State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine and Beijing Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau. Dirty quilts and clothes were also found, the paper said.

Meanwhile, Anhui Provincial Charity Association disclosed that donations they received were also shoddy, after inspections from November 9 to 11.

The shipment to Anhui weighed 6.9 tons, the newspaper said. It did not give the size of the other two shipments, but an official with the Beijing Charity Federation told China Daily it received more than 3 tons of donations from its higher organization, the All-China Federation of Charity.

He said he did not know anything about the donor. "We sealed the donations as soon as the quarantine department found problems," he said on the condition of anonymity.

A press official surnamed Shao from the national charity federation said it frequently received donations from around the world, but it was the first time it had received medical waste.

The Associated Press on Friday quoted an anonymous official from the federation as saying the donations came from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah. The organization was not available for comment.

Expired medical equipment and used injectors were also found in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province, last month.

There were 138,000 items in 548 boxes, worth US$29,000.

Agencies contributed to the story

(China Daily 12/10/2005 page1)

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