RCMP investigating forged export license
By Jonathan Martin
The RCMP is investigating the origins of a contaminated pork shipment to China that arrived with forged paperwork.
The shipment contained ractopamine hydrochloride, which China banned, and a fake Canadian export certificate.
Since its discovery, China has blocked all Canadian meat from entering the country “to protect Chinese citizens.”
It’s “unlikely” the shipment originated in Canada, though, Gary Stordy, the Canadian Pork Council’s (CPC’s) director of government and corporate affairs, told Farms.com.
“There are two reasons I don’t think it came from here,” Stordy said. “Firstly, (the pork) tested positive for ractopamine. Secondly, the shipment used fraudulent documents so it could have originated from anywhere.”
Canadian pork earmarked for international shipment is raised without the use of ractopamine, a food additive that makes animals grow larger on less food, and goes through a rigorous testing process to ensure that it hasn’t been cross-contaminated, Stordy said. It’s not often Canadian pork is contaminated, “but it’s not impossible.”
The Canadian government learned of the situation 10 days ago, Jim Carr, Canada’s international trade minister, told reporters in Toronto earlier today. Prime minister Justin Trudeau is meeting with foreign leaders in Osaka, Japan, Friday at a G20 summit to discuss international trade. U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to speak to Chinese President Xi Jinping on Trudeau’s behalf about unrelated issues.
Canada is “focused on diversifying our trade to ensure our farmers have access to new markets and we will keep working to grow our exports,” Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada’s ag minister, told Farms.com in an email.
The investigation, a collaborative effort between the RCMP and the CFIA, is ongoing. Stordy said CPC is “ready and willing” to do anything it can to help.