China's suspension of beef imports from 2nd US firm shouldn't be over-interpreted: expert
Published: Aug 11, 2022 10:41 AM Updated: Aug 11, 2022 07:30 PM
Imported beef is sold in a supermarket in Shanghai on August 20, 2020. Photo: VCG

Imported beef is sold in a supermarket in Shanghai on August 20, 2020. Photo: VCG

Chinese authorities on Thursday suspended beef imports from a second US firm after a shipment was found to contain ractopamine, a feed additive banned in many countries including China. 

Experts said that the move was taken out of consideration for the health of Chinese people, and should not be over-interpreted amid rising tension between China and the US.  

Starting on Thursday, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) suspended the declaration of meat products shipped by US-based firm King Meat Service Inc, as ractopamine was detected in its beef exported to China, the customs said in a statement on its website.

The GAC said that it has informed the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) of the decision.

China halted beef imports from another US producer called AA Meat Products in June for the same reason. The suspension began on June 15, according to a separate GAC statement on July 26.

Some foreign media outlets tried to link the move to rising tension between China and the US. However, Li Yong, deputy chairman of the Expert Committee of the China Association of International Trade, said there should be no over-interpretation of the GAC's decision.

"The move is taken to meet the customs' inspection and quarantine standards in order to ensure the health of Chinese people," he told the Global Times on Thursday.

In the US, ractopamine is approved for use in pigs and beef cattle, but it is widely banned in many countries, including China and members of the EU.

According to data from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the USDA, China was the third-largest market for US beef and beef products in 2021, importing a total of $1.59 billion of beef from the US.

China's suspension of beef imports from the US firm on Thursday came as China-US tensions are escalating amid a series of US moves against China.

On Tuesday, US President Joe Biden signed into law the so-called CHIPS and Science Act, which aims to impede and squeeze China's semiconductor production.

He Weiwen, a senior research fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University, said that China firmly objects to the US' political move in severing global industry and supply chains, and China will not flinch and will focus on improving its own science and technological capability.

Global Times