updated 7/18/2007 10:56:28 AM ET 2007-07-18T14:56:28

China and the U.S. will meet at the end of July to discuss the safety of China's seafood exports, an official said Wednesday, while news reports said tires that were the subject of a huge U.S. recall were found to meet American safety standards.

  1. Don't miss these Health stories
    1. Splash News
      More women opting for preventive mastectomy - but should they be?

      Rates of women who are opting for preventive mastectomies, such as Angeline Jolie, have increased by an estimated 50 percent in recent years, experts say. But many doctors are puzzled because the operation doesn't carry a 100 percent guarantee, it's major surgery -- and women have other options, from a once-a-day pill to careful monitoring.

    2. Larry Page's damaged vocal cords: Treatment comes with trade-offs
    3. Report questioning salt guidelines riles heart experts
    4. CDC: 2012 was deadliest year for West Nile in US
    5. What stresses moms most? Themselves, survey says

Meanwhile, Philippine authorities said they were testing more Chinese products after ordering several candy and cookie brands withdrawn from store shelves because they tested positive for a harmful embalming chemical.

The five-day meeting between teams from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Chinese food safety officials was scheduled to begin July 31 in Beijing, said Li Yuanping, who is in charge of the safety of import and export products at the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

Discussions were expected to help smooth over tensions triggered last month after the FDA announced that it would detain Chinese catfish, basa and dace, as well as shrimp and eel after repeated testing turned up contamination with drugs that have not been approved in the United States for use in farmed seafood.

Working together
The officials will discuss the U.S. block on Chinese seafood and future cooperation on food safety mechanisms, Li said.

"We hope that this issue will be solved properly," he said.

The U.S. officials also will visit some Chinese food-processing factories.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman from the quality supervision administration said government officials had issued a decision about the safety of the exported tires after inspecting the Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. and testing three tires at a government laboratory.

"They found that all the examples met American standards," said the spokeswoman, who would give only her surname, Xia. She would not give any other details.

U.S. authorities last month ordered a recall of up to 450,000 tires made by Hangzhou Zhongce after its American distributor, Foreign Tire Sales Inc. of Union, N.J., said they lacked a gum strip, a key safety feature that binds the belts of a tire to each other.

FTS said some tires had a gum strip that was about half the width of the 0.6 millimeter strip that the company expected.

FTS was sued May 4 by the families of two men who were killed when a van in which they were riding crashed in Pennsylvania on Aug. 12, 2006. The lawsuit says the van had Hangzhou Zhongce tires.

Hangzhou Zhongce has denied supplying faulty products.

"The tires mentioned in the report which FTS submitted ... meet or even exceed the U.S. quality safety standards," Hangzhou Zhongce said in a statement released Wednesday. "Zhongce is fully cooperating ... and expecting a proper and correct decision."

China has been hit by an avalanche of recalls and warnings in the United States and elsewhere targeting Chinese exports including drug-laced seafood, toothpaste made with a toxic chemical and children's toys with lead paint.

Formaldehyde in cookies
On Tuesday, Philippine authorities warned that some Chinese candies and cookies had tested positive for formaldehyde, an embalming chemical that has been linked to cancer in humans.

Major supermarkets and malls have 15 to 30 days to remove the contaminated items, the bureau's Deputy Director Joshua Ramos said without elaborating.

Beijing has launched a sweeping effort to repair the reputation of its export industries and protect access to foreign markets, promising more aggressive safety enforcement. But the government also has challenged some warnings, saying most Chinese goods have no problems and stressing that some other countries have a poorer product liability record.

On Wednesday, the State Council, China's Cabinet, arranged a rare trip to a juice-processing plant and a quality control inspection center for domestic and foreign journalists _ a sign leaders are keen on promoting a good and open image.

About 40 reporters were taken to the suburbs of Beijing, where the processing facility of the Huiyuan Beverage & Food Group Co. Ltd. was touted as an example of strict quality supervision and product safety.

Workers wearing white hair nets monitored the production line, making sure that boxes of juice were properly sealed and packed. Employees at an adjoining lab tested the packages.

"There are checks at every step of the process," said Matthew Mouw, vice president of the China Huiyuan Juice Group Ltd.

At the food safety inspection center of the Beijing Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, reporters were shown room after room of employees testing food products — both imported and exported — for pathogens, pesticides, additives and other elements.

The facility, which has a staff of 60, tests about 30,000 samples a year, officials said.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments