China Thursday announced an immediate ban on imports of US beef
and beef-related products after the United States reported its
first suspected case of bovine spongiform encephalopthy (BSE),
or mad cow disease.
The provisional ban took effect Thursday, but milk, dairy
products, hide and gluten used in photography are not included on
The Ministry of Agriculture and the State Administration of
Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), which
jointly issued the ban, urged all ports to stay alert for any
suspected cases and strengthen quarantine work to prevent mad cow
disease from entering China.
The two ministries ordered animal quarantine departments to
strengthen their inspections of cows and bovine embryos imported in
recent years from the United States.
Meanwhile, China announced it would start blacklisting imported
goods that have been repeatedly found to cause security or health
problems, according to a national conference on inspection and
quarantine held Thursday in Nanning, capital of southwest China's
Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Li Changjiang, head of the AQSIQ, told the conference that the
administration plans to launch a blacklist system some time in
2004. Such imported goods, as well as their producers, will be put
on the blacklist, Li said.
The administration also plans to improve the registration system
for major imported goods next year, and intensify inspection and
quarantine especially for eight categories of imported goods, such
as cotton, textiles and food made from animals.
US Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman on Tuesday announced the
first suspected US case of the deadly mad cow disease, or BSE,
found in a dairy cow in Washington State.
The single Holstein cow was tested as presumptive positive for
BSE, and its brain and nervous system tissues -- considered at high
risk of conveying BSE -- were said to have not entered the human
However, a Washington State official was quoted as saying
earlier that other meat from the diseased cow may have already been
consumed, possibly in the form of hamburgers. Soon after the case
was disclosed, Japan and South Korea, the top two buyers of US
beef, swiftly halted imports.
(Xinhua News Agency December 26, 2003)