China, the embassy statement said, “has not turned a blind eye or tried to cover up” problems with food exports, but had “taken this matter very seriously, acted responsibly and immediately adopted forceful measures to address the problems in the interest of the health and safety of the Chinese public and the consumers of the importing nations.”
“Blowing up, complicating or politicizing a problem are irresponsible actions and do not help in its solution or benefit the sound development of bilateral trade. It is even more unacceptable for some to launch groundless smear attacks on China at the excuse of food and drug safety problems,” the statement said.
In Beijing, Li Yuanping, who is in charge of the safety of import and export products at the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, said the five-day meeting between teams from the U.S. FDA and Chinese food safety officials was scheduled to begin July 31 in Beijing.
Discussions were expected to help relieve tensions triggered last month after the FDA announced that it would detain Chinese catfish, basa and dace, as well as shrimp and eel after repeated testing turned up contamination with drugs that have not been approved in the United States for use in farmed seafood.
“We hope that this issue will be solved properly,” he said.
The U.S. officials also will visit some Chinese food-processing factories.
Meanwhile, Philippine authorities said they were testing more Chinese products after ordering several candy and cookie brands withdrawn from store shelves because they tested positive for a harmful embalming chemical.
On Tuesday, Philippine authorities warned that some Chinese candies and cookies had tested positive for formaldehyde, an embalming chemical that has been linked to cancer in humans.
Major supermarkets and malls have 15 to 30 days to remove the contaminated items, the bureau’s Deputy Director Joshua Ramos said without elaborating.
c This article is based in part on wire service reports.
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