China and Food Safety

Wednesday, December 12, 2007; Page D01

Concerns about the safety of food and products from China have risen since melamine was discovered in U.S. pet foods in March.

March: Scores of pets die in the United States after eating food containing flour from China tainted with melamine.

April 24: The FDA says it will begin testing imported additives for melamine, which was found in livestock feed for farmed fish, chickens and hogs intended for sale in the United States.

June 14: A chemical used in antifreeze is found in counterfeit Colgate toothpaste made in China and sold at U.S. stores.

June 27: China shuts down 180 food manufacturers that used industrial chemicals in their products.

June 28: United States halts imports of some Chinese farm-raised fish, shrimp and eels after shipments are found to be contaminated with antibiotics and other drugs.

July 10: China executes former Chinese food and drug regulator Zheng Xiaoyu for accepting bribes from manufacturers.

Yesterday: China agrees to allow the United States to inspect food products in China, including pet foods and farm-raised seafood.

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