Belgian chocolate banned from China
Chinese food safety authorities claim sample contained a level of 'lemon yellow' food colouring 87 times higher than the permitted norm.
The Chinese food inspection department has banned the import of Belgian chocolate. According to Chinese food safety authorities, one sample contained a level of 'lemon yellow' food colouring that was 87 times higher than the permitted norm.
According to the Chinese authorities the chocolate is: "Not suitable for human consumption" due to the high concentration of lemon yellow food colouring.
In the province of Sichuan some 24 kilos of chocolate have reportedly been destroyed. In the port containers with Belgian chocolate products are being blocked.
Apart from Belgian chocolate, shipments with Dutch soybean powder, Spanish dairy products, Irish pork and Italian alcohol are also being blocked.
It seems as if China is taking revenge on the European Union. Last week the EU slapped an import ban on different soybean products and baking ingredients because they were found to contain too much melamine, a toxic substance which can cause kidney damage.
Political observers also think that it is in retaliation of the fact that various European leaders (including the French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme, photo) met with the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, last week.
The Dalai Lama was also a special guest in the Belgian Parliament as well as the European Parliament.
The European Union and China recently signed an agreement to improve the way food safety alerts are shared between the two trading partners, after several high-profile recalls involving Chinese-made dairy products and pet food.