Feds asks RCMP to investigate origins of pork shipment that triggered China suspension
Canada is hoping to resume meat exports to China even before finishing the official investigation into forged documents that triggered the ban.
“I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to reassure our Chinese trading partner with additional safety measures to our export system so they can reopen the market even if the investigation still needs a bit more time,” Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of agriculture and agri-food, said in a phone interview.
The forgery was discovered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency after the Asian nation informed Canada on June 14 that a pork shipment was found to contain ractopamine. Canada told China about the fake document as it could be a public health issue, Bibeau said. Beijing then decided to temporarily halt Canadian meat shipments.
“This means that we had a breach in our export system, but it’s very, very specific to Canadian meat exports to China and so it doesn’t apply to any other agricultural or agri-food products,” Bibeau said.
The food agency has handed over its information on the forged document to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which is investigating the incident. Chinese authorities are also investigating, Bibeau said.