China Shoots Back, Citing U.S. Products that Don't 'Meet Sanitary Standards'

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China Shoots Back, Citing U.S. Products that Don't 'Meet Sanitary Standards'

BEIJING -- China's food safety agency went on the offensive on Friday, reporting on its Web site that certain health supplements and raisins imported from the United States failed to meet its safety standards and have been returned or destroyed.

The U.S. companies that shipped the goods were identified as K-Max Health Products Co., CMO Distribution Center of America, Inc., and Supervalu International Division, which is the global trade division of Minneapolis-based wholesaler/retailer Supervalu, Inc.

The move comes at a time when the U.S. has become increasingly worried about the safety of Chinese products, following a giant recall of pet food that had tainted ingredients from China.

Inspectors in the ports of Ningbo and Shenzhen found bacteria and sulfur dioxide in products shipped by the three U.S. suppliers, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine said. K-Max and CMO exported health capsules, while Supervalu exported Sun-Maid Golden Raisins, the agency said.

"The products failed to meet the sanitary standards of China," the agency said in a brief notice posted on its Web site. It did not provide details about when or how the inspections were conducted.

The shipments from K-Max and Supervalu have been destroyed and CMO's capsules were returned, the notice said.

Although the notice did not clarify which contaminants were found in which products, sulfur dioxide is sometimes used as a preservative in dried fruit, noted an Associated Press report.

"Local quality officials should step up the inspection and quarantine on imported food products from the U.S.," the notice said. "Chinese importers should also clarify food safety demands in contracts when importing U.S. food products, so as to lower the trade risk."