China suspends some US pork, chicken feet imports

BEIJING - China’s quarantine bureau has suspended imports of frozen chicken and pork parts from top US meat and poultry processors, even as international scrutiny of Chinese food and drug safety grows.

By (Reuters)

Published: Sat 14 Jul 2007, 4:51 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 10:20 PM

Samonella was found in frozen chicken parts from Tyson Foods , the largest US meat processor, while frozen chicken feet shipped by Sanderson Farms had residues of growth enhancers and an anti-parasite drugs, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said.

Imports of frozen pork marrow from Cargill Meat Solutions Corp., a unit of agri-business giant Cargill Inc., have been suspended for 45 days from July 7, said the notice, posted on its website ( on Friday.

US poultry and meat processors ship great quantities of chicken feet and other parts spurned by US consumers to China, where they are a delicacy.

A chemical ingredient in pet food that caused the death of animals in the United States earlier this year has triggered concern over the safety of food and drug exports from China.

Mislabelled chemicals from China caused the death of patients in Panama, while a number of countries have taken Chinese-made toothpaste off shelves. Exports of items from tyres to toys have be given greater scrutiny.

Last month, the US Food and Drug Administration announced a temporary hold on imports of some Chinese seafood until suppliers could prove they were free of harmful residues.

Poorly regulated food and drug safety standards have been a problem for years in China, which has about half a million food processors. The Chinese government has moved in recent weeks to respond to the problem, promising stricter oversight.

This week, it executed the former head of its Food and Drug Administration for corruptly approving unsafe drugs.

But the quarantine bureau also ordered greater scrutiny of US imports, raising suspicions of trade retaliation.

The import suspensions come as US hog futures rose on speculation that China would need to import more pork to offset a domestic shortage caused by widespread outbreaks of blue ear disease in pigs.

Tyson and pork producer Smithfield Foods Inc. said on Friday that Chinese buyers had shown interest in buying more pork.

Cargill officials in China couldn’t be immediately reached for comment, while there was no answer at Tyson’s Shanghai office or on Sanderson Farms’ consumer hotline.

Also suspended were imports of pork from US distributor AJC International Inc., salted pig innards from Triumph Foods, frozen chicken feet from Intervision Foods and frozen pig ears from Van Luin Foods USA, a unit of Van Luin Food Group of the Netherlands.

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