By Leslie A. Pappas
March 11 — China's quarantine authority has listed a number of foreign brands on a blacklist of substandard imported food and cosmetic products rejected in the first quarter of 2014.
In a press briefing March 7, China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) said it rejected “substandard” batches of Revlon lipstick, Maybelline nail polish, Elizabeth Arden skin gel, Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo and Kao shampoo, according to reports of the briefing by state-run news agency Xinhua. AQSIQ said the items failed inspection because of microbial contamination, discrepancies in the cargo certificate or because the product had exceeded its shelf life.
Quarantine officials also rejected milk and dairy products from Singapore, Germany, Austria, Australia and Poland because the protein content did not reach the national standard, the bacteria was too high, the labels on the product failed or the product had gone beyond its shelf life, according to Xinhua. Other products that made the list: extra virgin olive oil from Italy, whey concentrate from the U.S., honey from New Zealand, oat meal from Britain, tea from India and candy bars from South Korea.
The news follows statements from the AQSIQ a week earlier that it would start releasing a quarterly blacklist of inferior products as a way to improve quality and strengthen supervision, according to a transcript of the briefing on the AQSIQ's website.
In January 2014, quarantine officials seized 474 batches of substandard food and cosmetics imports, including 36 batches of cosmetics, the AQSIQ said in a briefing on Feb. 28. The cosmetics came from 13 countries. The food products fell into 20 categories from 47 countries or regions, and included mostly dairy products, beverages, and packaged crackers or cookies.
All items were destroyed and did not reach stores, the AQSIQ said.
In 2013, quarantine officials seized and destroyed a total of 2,164 shipments of substandard food and cosmetics weighing a total of 7,800 tons and valued at US$240 million, the AQSIQ said.
In a separate notice posted on the AQSIQ's website March 5, an article attributed to Xinhua said that quarantine inspections in Shanghai found excessive levels of formaldehyde in brand name clothing imports in 2013.
The Shanghai Quarantine Bureau in 2013 found excessive levels of formaldehyde in 15 batches of baby clothes from H&M, the article said, citing a March 3 bulletin from the Shanghai Quarantine Bureau.
Nineteen batches of infant clothing and baby products from Mothercare also failed inspection at the Shanghai port in 2013 due to formaldehyde levels, lack of color fastness or excessive moisture levels, the article said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Leslie A. Pappas in Beijing at email@example.com
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A transcript of the Feb. 28 press briefing from the AQSIQ that discusses the blacklist and statistics from 2013 and Jan. 2014 may be found in Chinese at http://www.aqsiq.gov.cn/zjxw/zjxw/zjftpxw/201402/t20140228_405109.htm.
The March 5 article on the AQSIQ's website about formaldehyde in baby clothing can be found in Chinese at http://www.aqsiq.gov.cn/zjxw/dfzjxw/dfftpxw/201403/t20140305_405412.htm.
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