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China Says Defends Safety of Food Exports

A government spokesperson says that "the quality of China's exports all are guaranteed," while new information comes out suggesting otherwise.

In a move uncharacteristic of the Chinese government, a Commerce Ministry spokesperson Thursday spoke directly about international fears over the safety of Chinese exports.

Wang Xinpei told reporters during a regular briefing, "It can be said that the quality of China's exports all are guaranteed." He says that, especially in the case of food products, the country "has paid great attention" to the safety of Chinese exports.

China had mainly avoided public comment on the questions raised about its exports this year. The U.S. blamed Chinese wheat gluten contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine for the deaths of North American pets.

State media also said Thursday that police in China had raided a village where pigs were force-fed wastewater in order to boost slaughter weight. Pigs had been pumped, via plastic pipes down their throats, with as much as 44 pounds of wastewater.

Inspectors announced earlier this year that they had closed 180 food factories and seized tainted products in the first half of this year.

Washington has acted on fish and livestock that had eaten melamine-contaminated feed, juice with unsafe color additives, and toy trains decorated with lead paint. Questions have been raised about Chinese-made toothpaste as well, and on Wednesday Japanese importers recalled millions of toothpaste products from China.

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