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China bans all meat from Canada alleging forged customs certificates

China is banning all meat imported from Canada, claiming that customs documents were forged. CNN's Anna Coren reports.

Posted: Jun 26, 2019 12:40 PM
Updated: Jun 26, 2019 12:40 PM

The Chinese government has announced a suspension on imported meat products from Canada over claims of forged customs documents, the latest sign of deteriorating relations between the two countries.

The Chinese embassy in Canada announced the move in a statement Wednesday, saying the decision had been sparked by the discovery of "ractopamine residues" in a batch of pork sent by Canadian company Frigo Royal on June 3.

Ractopamine is a veterinary drug and feed additive which is banned in mainland China due to concerns over the possible negative effects on consumer health, according to the Hong Kong Center for Food Safety.

It is permitted for use in the United States and Canada, however.

China immediately suspended Frigo Royal's import license but, according to the embassy, a subsequent investigation by Canadian authorities found 188 forged veterinary certificates on exported meat products.

In response, Beijing called on the Canadian government to stop issuing health certificates to meat exported after June 25, effectively cutting off Canadian suppliers.

"We hope the Canadian side would attach great importance to this incident, complete the investigation as soon as possible and take effective measures to ensure the safety of food exported to China in a more responsible manner," the embassy statement said.

CNN has reached out to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for comment.

China is Canada's second largest trading partner after the United States. In 2017, it imported $292 million in pork products to China, according to MIT, although that is likely to have grown following the swine fever crisis spreading across China.

Meat products aren't the first Canadian export to China to be disrupted in recent months. In March, top Canadian agricultural firm Richardson International said that its shipments of canola, a major Canadian export to China, were being blocked.

A top executive at the company told Canadian broadcaster CTV that he believed the move was "politically motivated," an allegation Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang denied.

"It is the Chinese government's responsibility to protect the safety and interests of the Chinese consumers and the agricultural production and ecological security of the nation," he told a news conference on March 11.

Diplomatic relations between Beijing and Ottawa have remained fraught following the arrest of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in Canada in December 2018.

Meng faces extradition to the US over allegations she helped Huawei evade US sanctions on Iran. The Chinese government claim the arrest is politically motivated.

Shortly after Meng's detention, two Canadians were taken into custody in China, former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor.

Both were formally arrested in May, accused of gathering and stealing "sensitive information and other intelligence" since 2017. Separately, Canadian man Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, who had previously been found guilty of trafficking drugs to China, was rapidly retried in January and sentenced to death.

The Canadian government has joined with human rights organizations to call for the release of Kovrig and Spavor, describing their detentions as "arbitrary."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 248189

Reported Deaths: 5411
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto16841171
Hinds15890312
Harrison13037191
Rankin10439205
Jackson10128177
Lee8721135
Madison8071160
Jones6166108
Forrest5870117
Lauderdale5724177
Lowndes5238109
Lafayette486192
Lamar475363
Washington4734122
Bolivar3941106
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Panola360475
Pontotoc358752
Monroe3487103
Warren337895
Union337457
Marshall336065
Neshoba3325150
Pearl River319492
Leflore2980104
Lincoln293385
Sunflower277569
Tate266659
Alcorn260651
Itawamba258858
Pike258176
Hancock253557
Prentiss242450
Scott241043
Yazoo237754
Copiah237449
Tippah236246
Simpson232367
Leake227864
Coahoma223154
Grenada215770
Covington208871
Marion206171
Adams201666
Winston198061
George197438
Wayne196130
Attala191658
Newton186542
Chickasaw181243
Tishomingo179659
Holmes167867
Jasper165134
Clay156732
Stone140218
Tallahatchie138234
Clarke136460
Calhoun133321
Smith118823
Yalobusha113834
Walthall111136
Noxubee109622
Greene108929
Montgomery108134
Carroll103721
Lawrence101217
Perry99131
Amite96425
Webster90624
Claiborne85125
Tunica84521
Jefferson Davis83825
Humphreys81524
Benton80323
Kemper75720
Quitman6758
Franklin65315
Choctaw59613
Wilkinson58125
Jefferson53019
Sharkey42417
Issaquena1586
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 417528

Reported Deaths: 6030
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson61313888
Mobile29768542
Madison26637185
Tuscaloosa20580268
Montgomery18696304
Shelby18310113
Baldwin16002179
Lee12261101
Morgan12093112
Etowah11604157
Calhoun10982200
Marshall10108107
Houston8474129
Cullman7960104
Limestone790174
Elmore7723101
DeKalb764697
St. Clair7460120
Lauderdale745183
Talladega6102108
Walker5852174
Jackson574441
Blount526483
Colbert525670
Autauga510355
Coffee434256
Dale391081
Franklin363445
Chilton333565
Covington326167
Russell323810
Escambia312442
Dallas300296
Clarke278233
Chambers277869
Tallapoosa2599107
Pike245829
Marion240549
Lawrence240447
Winston223835
Bibb213047
Geneva197431
Marengo197329
Pickens195231
Hale173742
Barbour171236
Butler167958
Fayette166026
Cherokee159630
Henry151119
Monroe144417
Randolph138535
Washington136526
Clay125246
Crenshaw118044
Lamar116619
Cleburne116023
Macon113335
Lowndes108735
Wilcox101221
Bullock98128
Perry95419
Conecuh92920
Sumter88726
Greene75323
Coosa60414
Choctaw51224
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