September 10, 2007


Food safety issues scuttle Sino-US poultry talks



Trade talks to bolster the poultry trade between the US and China have collapsed as the two countries failed to agree on food safety issues. 


Agricultural officals from the two countries met in Beijing last week in the hopes of furthering the poultry trade between the two countries.


At issue was China's zero-tolerance for salmonella in raw poultry, which the USDA said was impossible to attain. Salmonella presence in poultry is not a problem when consumers cook the chicken, the US side maintained.


USDA's Undersecretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Mark Keenum, who led the US delegation said China simply reaffirmed their stand on the issue.


China also expressed reservations about US food products especially on the issue of labelling, falsified certificates and poor quality.


Despite the Chinese position. USDA is working to allow China to export cooked chicken products to the US.


China would be sending a delegation from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine (AQSIQ), to Washington for bilateral talks on food safety.


Keenum hopes the issues would be resolved before December's cabinet-level Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade meeting between the two nations.

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