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China has suspended the import of all Canadian meat

The fall out over the December arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver continues to grow, at least that’s how it appears.

On Tuesday, the Chinese Embassy asked Canada to suspend all meat exports to China.

However, a statement from the embassy says that the move is actually because of the detection of residue on a recent batch of Canadian pork products.

Chinese customs inspectors spotted the restricted feed additive, called ractopamine, which is permitted for use in Canada but banned in China.

"The subsequent investigation revealed that the official veterinary health certificates attached to the batch of pork exported to China were counterfeit and the number of those forgery certificates was up to 188,” said the statement.

“The Canadian side believes that this incident is a criminal offence.”

It reflects that Canada’s meat export supervision system has obvious safety loopholes, says the statement, and has forced China to take “urgent preventive measures.”

Canada’s agriculture minister, Marie-Claude Bibeau, said the Canadian Food Inspection Agency identified the issue and has informed the appropriate law enforcement agencies.

She defended the quality of the Canadian meat industry, calling the Canadian food system one of the best in the world.

<who>Photo Credit: The Canadian Press

“We are confident in the safety of Canadian products and Canadian exports,” said Bibeau.

"Our government will always stand shoulder to shoulder with our producers and workers, who export the finest products around the world.”

It’s not just meat either, as China has also stopped imports of Canadian canola.

Chad MacPherson, GM of the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association, said these actions will affect producers across Canada, but added that China’s concerns are unfounded.

"This is just more punitive actions from the government of China in reaction to the arrest of the Huawei executive.”

With files from the Canadian Press.

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