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  • China plans to send food and product inspectors to U.S.
  • BEIJING (AFP) - Beijing plans to send food safety and product quality experts to the United...
  • 2008-06-20
  • BEIJING (AFP) - Beijing plans to send food safety and product quality experts to the United States to inspect goods made there in response to Washington's plans to do the same in China, state media reported Wednesday.

    The United States proposed sending American inspectors to China in December after millions of items manufactured in Chinese factories were recalled globally because they were considered unsafe.

    China made the announcement during talks concluding later Wednesday in Maryland, the Xinhua news agency reported, citing Li Changjiang, head of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

    "Based on the principle of reciprocity, China plans to station food safety and product quality personnel at its embassy and consulates in the United States at necessary times," Li said.

    Product safety was a key issue during the talks that began Tuesday, where the two countries were expected to sign a 10-year agreement on energy and environmental protection.

    Premier Wen Jiabao vowed in March to ensure China's product safety monitoring met international standards after a string of scandals over Chinese-made goods ranging from food to toys.

    Beijing revoked the export licences of 700 toy factories over safety failings last week after inspecting all 3,540 toy firms with the permits.

    The tighter monitoring also prompted the government to ban the sale of nearly 600 foreign-made food items last month, including some from major US companies.

    Two flavours of Procter & Gamble's Pringles crisps imported from the United States were found to contain a chemical which could cause cancer.

    Coca-Cola's berry-flavoured Fanta soft-drink -- imported from South Korea -- was also banned for containing too much benzoic acid, which can damage the liver and the kidneys.

    Beijing also recalled Peter Pan peanut butter made in the United States by ConAgra Foods last year, after batches sold in China were linked to an American salmonella outbreak.

     

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