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China to suspend pork imports from Canadian company Frigo Royal

BEIJING (Reuters) – China will block pork imports from Canada’s Frigo Royal Inc after a batch of the Canadian firm’s pork was found to contain the banned feed additive ractopamine, the customs agency said in a statement on its Wechat account on Tuesday.

Ractopamine is used by pork producers in some countries to make leaner pigs but China does not allow its use and does not tolerate residues of the compound in imported meat.

China will also strengthen inspections for the residue in all pork imports from Canada, the notice from the General Administration of Customs said.

Canadian government officials said this month they had been warned by China that it would step up inspections of meat imports after “recent cases of non-compliance” in pork shipments.

The customs notice said authorities in the port of Nanjing had detected ractopamine residue in a batch of Frigo Royal pork on June 3.

China had previously warned Canada that it would open all containers of Canadian meat and meat products and, in some cases, 100% of the contents would be inspected.

Many Canadian farmers started raising pigs without ractopamine in 2013 to boost their exports to China.

In the first three months of this year, China was Canada’s third-biggest pork export market, taking in C$215 million ($160.5 million) of Canada’s pork and pork products.

But China in April halted pork imports from two other Canadian producers, Olymel LP and Drummond Export, because of labeling problems.

It has also blocked imports of Canadian canola seed.

The trade issues have followed Chinese demands that Canada return Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co, who is facing extradition to the United States after being arrested in Vancouver.

Reporting by Hallie Gu and Dominique Patton; editing by Christian Schmollinger

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