BEIJING – The Chinese government said on June 25 that Canadian meat imports will be stopped due to counterfeit veterinary health certificates attached to pork products. The government statement said it found ractopamine in pork imports, which is banned in the country.

An investigation into the health certificates by the Chinese found that 188 forged certificates were sent through Canada’s official notification channel. China said that it has urged preventative measures and requested the Canadian government to suspend the issuance of certificates of exported meat.

“We hope the Canadian side would attach great importance to this incident, complete the investigation as soon as possible and take effective measures to ensure the safety of food exported to China in a more responsible manner,” the Chinese embassy said.

The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) said in its own statement that it is working closely with government officials to understand the situation and identify potential next steps.

“We are aware that Canadian government officials have been in contact with their Chinese counterparts and are hopeful this will lead to a quick resolution,” CPC said.

Agriculture minster for Canada Marie-Claude Bibeau said in a statement that "the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) has taken measures to address this issue and is continuing to work closely with industry partners and Chinese officials.”

 Reuters reported earlier this month that a third Canadian firm was suspended after finding ractopamine in a shipment.

Chinese-Canadian relations have been tense since December when Huwei Technologies Co. CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver due to pending financial fraud charges in the US. She is currently being held in on partial house arrest in Vancouver awaiting extradition proceedings.