European mineral water brands and salmonella tainted pork from Denmark were amongst more than 400 imported food and cosmetic items declared ‘substandard’ by Chinese food quality authorities.
According to a set of reports published by the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), batches of French mineral water brands Evian and Volvic were destroyed by Chinese authorities, which deemed the water harmful.
Earlier this year, 80 tonnes of Evian water were rejected by Chinese officials for reported excessive nitrite content and destroyed.
The mineral water imports were destroyed after tests detected excessive nitrite in the water, which Chinese officials argued may increase cancer risks, said a document posted on AQSIQ’s website.
The bottled water shipments were among 422 items rejected during import entry tests in 2011 – none of which made it to the Chinese market.
Failed products were either shipped back to exporters or destroyed.
Posed food safety risk
Elsewhere in the reports, over 27 tonnes of salmonella-tainted pork from Denmark, destined for China’s largest meat processor Shuanghui Group, was rejected.
And in 2007, 118 tonnes of Evian water, containing excessive amounts of bacteria, were seized on the ground that it breached local safety laws.
FoodQualityNews.com approached Evian in relation to the rejection of allegedly harmful water, but the French brand was not able to provide comment prior to publication.
The additive clenbuterol, commonly referred to as “lean meat powder”, was found in pork products imported from the US, Canada and Denmark in July, despite already being banned in China, said Chinese state news agency Xinhua.
The substance, found in pork products such as heads, feet and hearts, has been banned as a feed additive in China as it can cause nausea, dizziness, headaches, and heart palpitations.
A separate AQSIQ report reported in August that Coca-Cola China’s imports of orange pulp and juice from Turkey were destroyed after officials deemed the packaging to be too poor and because a breach of import regulations.
US food safety appeal
The reports comes less than a month after US food safety authorities appealed to their Chinese counterparts for assistance in creating a global approach to food safety – as reported at FoodQualityNews.com.
Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) deputy commissioner for food Michael R. Taylor was speaking at the China International Food Safety and Quality Conference and Expo in Beijing, with the aim of outlining the agency’s vision of addressing world food safety issues.
Taylor told the conference: “The challenge is great but so, too, is the opportunity to strengthen food safety and the global food system. We will succeed if we work together, if we build a true partnership for prevention, and we sustain our efforts for the long term.”