China puts ban on Australian chilled beef imports

China has placed a ban on Australian chilled beef imports due to food safety concerns.

Chinese authorities have stated that Australian abattoirs no longer have the correct certification, a claim which has forced global meat processors including JBS and Teys to undergo lengthy certification processes before resuming exports, the Australian Financial Review reports.

However, the move is being viewed by producers as a non-tariff barrier to protect local industry as Chinese authorities have said that they may consider allowing imports to resume under a quota system if shortages occur.

Trade minister Andrew Robb, who will shortly commence free trade talks with China, confirmed that the country had queried the standard of Australia’s chilled beef, but emphasised that Australia’s standards are exceptionally high.

"Australia has a reputation second-to-none in the standards we adhere to," he said.

Chilled beef imports have increased by a staggering 873 percent over the last year due to a number of scandals involving local producers including the recent seizure of over 20,000kg of fake beef in Xi’an Shaanxi province.

The meat was actually pork and had been treated with chemicals including paraffin wax and industrial salts so it looks like beef.


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