China, U.S. to discuss food safety
Jul 20,2007 00:00 by UPI
BEIJING -- China, under pressure to improve the safety of its food and other products, said Friday it will take part in food safety talks with U.S. officials next month.

The talks in Beijing will be at vice-ministerial level, the official Xinhua reported. China has come under criticism after health scares created by its exports such as tainted seafood, toothpaste and pet food and lead paint on toys.

Li Changjiang, head of China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, said food safety is the common responsibility of different nations and regions worldwide.

The food safety controversy could result in U.S. Congress imposing restrictions on Chinese imports.

On seafood items such as catfish and shrimp, Li said the products did contained U.S.-banned substances but noted they were supplied by unregistered Chinese aquatic farms.

He said China's exports have to go through strict inspections. However, he said the United States opens all its ports to all sorts of exporters, running only random checks, which are easily exploited by lawbreakers, Xinhua said.

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