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China cuts imports of Canadian pork

by 5m Editor
18 September 2007, at 9:59am

CANADA - China has rejected 42 metric tonnes of frozen pig parts -- kidneys and pork chops -- shipped from Canada and the United States, a move which snares at least one Canadian company in a tit-for-tat trade scrap.

Food safety authorities in China returned more than 40 tonnes of pork imported from Canada and the U.S. after discovering traces of the growth stimulant ractopamine.

Shipments to China from Maple Leaf Foods Inc.'s plant in Brandon, Man., have been temporarily suspended, according to Jeanette Jones, a spokeswoman for Maple Leaf. Three other Canadian exporters are under investigation, she added.

China found residue of ractopamine, a growth stimulant, in the 18.4 metric tonnes of frozen pork kidneys from the United States and 24 metric tonnes of frozen pork chops from Canada. Ractopamine, while legal in North America, is forbidden in China.

The ban comes as trade turbulence between China and its Western partners intensifies. The quality of toys, toothpaste, fish and pet food made in China have all been under recent scrutiny. Millions of toys made in China were recalled this summer after it was discovered they may contain lead paint, which can cause brain damage.

Tony Frost, a professor of international business at Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, believes China's strike against Maple Leaf and other pork producers is part of a bigger trade spat.

"Its pretty easy to interpret it as a tit-for-tat strategy," he said. "It looks suspicious."

Ms. Jones, the spokeswoman for Maple Leaf, added: "We're certainly seeing it as a trade action, and what's driving it can certainly be open to interpretation," she said.

Source: Financial Post

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5m Editor