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Exports of U.S. Soybeans to China Questioned

Chinese officials claim there are significant quality and contamination problems with shipments U.S. soybeans.

China is raising quality questions about U.S. soybean imports and Wednesday officials called on the U.S. to investigate. The Chinese claim U.S. soybeans shipped to that country are contaminated with weeds and soybean disease, and some don't match Chinese quality standards, according to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine in an online statement.

China's Xinhua news service reports that local entry-exit inspection and quarantine bureaus have discovered quality and safety problems from U.S.-imported soybeans. Inspection and quarantine units have found weeds including sorghum halepense and iva zanthifolia that officials say could threaten China's farm production, forestation and ecological safety. They even claim that soil clods in shipments contain pests that pose a threat to the country's soybean production.

In addition, Chinese authorities called into question quality issues with U.S. soybeans saying that some imported into that country failed to reach required oil and protein content standards, and had more impurities than allowed in current shipment contracts.

Wire services report that analysts say this latest announcement by China could simply be a retaliatory gesture following the recent criticism of Chinese products sent to the U.S. since problems with soybean imports aren't new. China is the world's largest soybean importer and gets more than 60% of its supply from overseas. There has been talk in the country, according to some reports, that the China Soybean Industry Association has recently pushed the country to limit soybean imports.

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