Official urges truthful reporting from foreign media

Updated: 2007-07-19 08:58

China's top quality control chief urged foreign media to stick to the truth in reporting during an interview with CCTV on Wednesday, a second time in a few days for him to lash out at some foreign media exaggerating China's food safety problems and stirring consumer panic.

Li Changjiang, minister of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine also stressed again that Chinese exports, especially food exports, are absolutely well guaranteed in terms of safety.

His remark came after a Chinese rubber company was cleared of the accusation of producing unsafe tires exported to the United States, which were previously held responsible for a traffic accident that killed two in Pennsylvania last August.

The U.S. importer - Foreign Tyre Sales, Inc. (FTS), which earlier blamed the Chinese tires for the accident, said in the latest report released on July 2 that the Chinese-made tires involved in the accident far exceeded the US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, and the van in the accident was equipped with tires in two different sizes, three Chinese tires and one Michelin tyre.

The real cause of the fatal accident was the misuse of the tires, said Shen Jinrong, the board chairman of Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co.Ltd.

"It was irresponsible for some foreign media to blame the Chinese-made tires without any analysis immediately after the accident happened," Li said during the interview while commenting on the issue.

Due to the incident, the Chinese rubber company, which has been in the U.S. market for 20 years without such quality complaints, was ordered to recall a total of 450,000 tires. The U.S. hearing of the case is scheduled on Wednesday.

Li said recent Japanese reports claimed that Chinese-made boilers contained excessive lead. However, tests done by three Japanese inspection organizations showed that the lead contained in Chinese boilers was only about half of that in Japanese ones.

Li continued to say that the Chinese government has always attached great importance to quality control of products, especially food products and have worked hard to ensure food safety.

He said the record shows that between 2004 and 2006, 99 or more than 99 percent of Chinese exports to the U.S. were up to the quality standard, which is the same or even better than the U.S. exports to China, and Chinese exports to Japan and the European Union enjoyed even higher record.

"It's unreasonable to think that Chinese products have become unsafe overnight, as China has been importing goods to the U.S. and other countries for quite a long time," said Li.

However, he also acknowledged that there were problems in the country's food safety, and some enterprises, small ones in particular, were found to have used food additives or non-food materials.

Food safety problems actually exist in many countries, and we need more cooperation from other countries to improve the food safety, Li said.

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