Tue, Jul 17, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Beijing blaming foreign media for food safety scares

AGENCIES , BEIJING

Chinese officials are blaming the international media, especially from the US, for fueling fears about the safety of the country's food and drug exports, a newspaper reported yesterday.

The accusations in the state-run China Daily came as China blocked a US protein powder shipment. Chinese inspectors announced the protein powder contained too much selenium and was being sent back, Xinhua news agency reported yesterday.

The deaths of patients in Panama from mislabeled drug ingredients from China, deadly toxins in pet food and food laced with additives and antibiotics have fanned anxiety in the US.

But foreign reports about tainted Chinese products have presented isolated failings as the whole picture, said Li Changjiang (李長江), head of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

"Some foreign media, especially those based in the US, have wantonly reported on so-called unsafe Chinese products. They are turning white to black," the China Daily yesterday quoted him as saying.

"One company's problem doesn't make it a country's problem. If some food products are below standard, you can't say all the country's food is unsafe," Lie was quoted as saying.

He said more than 99 percent of Chinese food exports to the US in the past three years had met quality standards, the same or better than the amount of US food exports to China.

Another official from the inspection agency, Li Chuanqing (李傳卿), said foreign companies had exaggerated public worries about Chinese goods for their own ends.

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