As tensions remain high between China and North American countries, it appears as though China will be taking another step to strengthen inspections of imported meat from Canada.
The news broke Tuesday afternoon from RealAg Radio regular, Kelsey Johnson of Reuters. In her article, she points out:
A Canadian agriculture ministry notice seen by Reuters said the embassy in Beijing had been told Chinese customs agents would open all containers of Canadian meat and meat products and in some cases 100% of the contents would be inspected.
Chinese officials are pointing to the spike in African swine fever (ASF), “recent cases of non-compliance of pork shipments,” and anti-smuggling measures for the boosted inspections, according to Johnson.
In a statement sent to RealAgriculture, Agriculture and Agri-Food minister, Marie-Claude Bibeau says, “We have been saying for some time that there are heightened customs concerns with China and have recently been made aware of increased inspection on pork products.”
Bibeau adds, “We are working with producers and industry to underscore the importance of heightened quality assurance efforts to ensure there are no trade disruptions due to administrative errors.”
Bibeau went on to say although China is dealing with ASF, Canada has never had a case of the virus.
“Canadian farmers make the highest quality products, backed by a robust and world-class inspection system,” she added. “We stand by our system and our strong reputation as reliable suppliers of quality products worldwide.”