Advertisement
Economy

China tightening Canadian canola inspections after cancelling shipment

WATCH ABOVE: China says it blocked canola shipments from Winnipeg over fear of 'harmful organisms'

BEIJING – Imports of Canadian canola will now undergo more thorough inspections in China, the country’s customs agency said Thursday, amid what appears to be a retaliatory move amid a diplomatic row over the arrest of a Chinese executive.

READ MORE: China says it blocked canola shipments from Winnipeg over fear of ‘harmful organisms’

Relations between Canada and China have been tense since December, when Canada arrested Chinese tech executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver at the request of the U.S. China warned of “grave consequences” if Canada did not immediately release Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei.

U.S. prosecutors have filed charges accusing Meng, who is the daughter of Huawei’s founder, of lying to banks about dealings with Iran. Huawei denies any wrongdoing.

WATCH: Huawei CFO’s legal team continues fight against extradition

Huawei CFO’s legal team continues fight against extradition
Huawei CFO’s legal team continues fight against extradition
Story continues below advertisement

Apparent targets of China’s ire have included two Canadians detained on suspicion of harming national security, a third Canadian sentenced to death, and now the Canadian staple canola.

Canola is grown in China, Japan and many other countries.

WATCH: Alberta canola producers worried about export slowdown to China

Alberta canola producers worried about export slowdown to China
Alberta canola producers worried about export slowdown to China

READ MORE: China cancels major canola shipments from Winnipeg company amid rising tensions

However, the website for the Canola Council of Canada calls the crop “Canada’s greatest agricultural success story” and the world’s only “Made in Canada” crop. According to the Canola Council, canola was developed by Canadian researchers using traditional plant breeding techniques, resulting in a bright yellow variety of rapeseed whose seeds can be harvested for vegetable oil.

China’s customs administration said in a statement posted to its website Thursday that four customs offices in China found pests such as fungal pathogens in canola imports. It confirmed that it revoked the export permit held by Richardson International Ltd., one of Canada’s largest grain processors.

The agency said stronger inspections and lab testing while canola imports are in quarantine were needed.

WATCH: Tension with China grows with blow to Canadian canola farmers

Tension with China grows with blow to Canadian canola farmers
Tension with China grows with blow to Canadian canola farmers

Canadian Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in a statement Wednesday that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency conducted investigations after China issued notices of non-compliance on canola seed imports, including nine since January. She said the agency had not identified any pests or bacteria of concern.

Story continues below advertisement

China buys about 40 per cent of Canada’s canola exports, and the revocation of Richardson’s permit hurts the entire chain of industries involved in the market, the Canola Council of Canada said.

Meanwhile, the dispute centred on Huawei is simmering.

READ MORE: Lawyer of Huawei’s Meng says Trump comments raise political motivation ‘concerns’

Huawei announced Thursday that it is challenging a U.S. law that labels it a security risk and would limit its access to the American market for telecom equipment.

Global News Redesign Global News Redesign
A fresh new look for Global News is here, tell us what you think
Take a Survey

Sponsored Stories