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Export commodities' quality requires objective, fair appraisal
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16:45, August 22, 2007

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Since early March this year, a tumult concerning the quality of Chinese export commodities, from cosmetics for daily use to foodstuff to (children''s) toys, has been spreading overseas, and a big noise in particular is stired up by some congressmen, presidential candidates and media people in the United States.

General speaking, China''s export commodities, and especially in view of the food security situation, are as good as commodities of the same type produced in other countries and even slightly better, as indicated either by the relevant statistics available from the Chinese State Administration of Quality supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, or by the data released by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US International Trade Commission (ITC).

The qualification rate of China''s food exports to the U.S. was 99 percent, 99 percent and 99.2 percent respectively between 2004 and 2007, whereas the qualification rate of US food exports to China stood at 99.01 percent, 98.85 percent and 99.09 percent respectively in those three years. During the same period, the likewise qualification rate of China''s food exports to Japan and the European Union (EU) amounted to 99.8 percent, 99.9 percent and 99.9 percent respectively.

Moreover, the relevant data from the US FDA and ITC have shown that China was not the country with the most batches of food import ferreted out at ports in the U.S. and recalled, and the first two nations, however, had 395 and 112 more batches of food import than China to have been ferreted out and sent back.

Therefore, to truly mitigate or reduce security threats for consumers, it is better for either party to cool down and locate loopholes in regulation and control, analyze what has caused these loopholes to shape and proceed to work harder to close or stop them.

A regulatory system either in China, an exporter, or in the U.S., an importer, is unable to keep up with the pace of the global production and trade and so loopholes have taken shape in regulation and control. It is precisely because these loopholes have invoked the quality issue with Chinese export commodities.
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