Many foreign companies, including PepsiCo and Mead Johnson, from 25 countries have been blacklisted from a monthly report by a State Council watchdog in charge of product quality.
Among the companies blacklisted, the most prominent name was PepsiCo, which has its international branch based in New York. Nearly 38 tons of frozen concentrated orange juice that the firm allegedly imported from Louis Dreyfus Citrus Trading LDA in Brazil in July were found with excessive yeast, according to the website of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine. Excessive yeast causes foods to spoil faster.
The watchdog issues its report monthly and names unqualified imported goods. Though the blacklisting has no economic impact on the companies listed, the banned products are either returned or destroyed.
Mead Johnson, the pharmaceutical based in the US state of Illinois, allegedly imported 300 kg of baby formula in July with substandard protein content.
The popular Danisa Butter Cookies, imported from Indonesia in July, were found to have excessive bacteria. It's uncertain what bacteria was found or what effects it would have had on a consumer. The list also found that the Carrefour-brand of candies from France contained the banned dye Quinoline yellow, according to the list.
Some other 150 batches of food, beverages and cosmetics from more than 20 countries were also deemed unqualified in border checks in July. According to the list, a quarter of the substandard products came from the US.
In response to the blacklist, PepsiCo said in a statement yesterday the substandard orange juice was found by the company itself.
"PepsiCo applies strict quality testing standards to imported fruit juice concentrates and accepts under no circumstances products that fail to meet quality inspection standards," the statement said.
Christina Li, director of PepsiCo China Public Relations, said the company found the unqualified frozen orange concentrates imported from Brazil and then informed the Chinese customs about it.
"All relevant products have been returned to the suppliers in the origin country," Li said.
Calls to other companies named in the list, such as Mead Johnson, were unanswered yesterday.
Early this year, Taiwan's Wei Chuan infant milk powder containing potentially fatal bacteria was recalled without entering the mainland market, the report from August to November showed.
Previous reports also show that part of the imported formula was unqualified.
Chinese tags are important for foreign products entering China, an official told China National Radio on Saturday, adding that imported products without Chinese labels are likely to be imported illegally.
(China Daily September 21, 2009)