China sends U.S. safety message via seized pigeons

China, hit by accusations of shoddy and dangerous exports, sent its own message to Washington on Friday by announcing it had seized and killed a shipment of 41 U.S. homing pigeons.

China sends U.S. safety message via seized pigeons
China, hit by accusations of shoddy and dangerous exports, sent its own message to Washington on Friday by announcing it had seized and killed a shipment of 41 U.S. homing pigeons.

China has faced an international outcry over lax product safety, including toxic ingredients in medicine that killed patients in Panama and toothpaste made with an industrial solvent.

While acknowledging serious problems, Beijing has accused international media of alarmism and pointedly blocked U.S. and European goods it said were also substandard.

China's latest messenger in this tit-for-tat was a batch of 41 live pigeons shipped from the United States, according to the government Web site (www.gov.cn).

Inspectors at the capital's airport discovered severe problems with the birds, which were slaughtered and incinerated.

Health certification was incorrect, the number shipped was at odds with what documents claimed, and U.S. inspection methods did not meet jointly agreed standards, Chinese authorities said.

The shipping documents also indicated the birds tested positive for 'parrot fever,' a bacteria-borne disease that can infect humans and cause flu-like symptoms.

'The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine has demanded that all border quarantine bodies strengthen inspections of birds imported from the United States,' said the announcement.

The administration has also demanded an explanation from U.S. authorities, it said.

Inspectors seized the birds on June 21. The announcement did not explain the delay in publicizing the catch.

Earlier this month, China suspended some U.S. pork and poultry imports, citing disease worries.

Pigeon raising is a popular hobby in China, and the birds are also a popular restaurant dish.

Reuters
Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Temmuz 2007, 18:22
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