China has issued food safety orders to Western food manufacturers over the past three months, as it seeks to prevent the spread of a deadly coronavirus strain.
The orders are part of a crackdown by authorities in the country’s western Xinjiang region that has already resulted in food shortages.
The order to stop importing the Chinese brand Ben Western Food (BGWF) from the United States and Canada was issued on 30 April, just weeks after US President Donald Trump visited the region and pledged $2bn in funding to help fight the pandemic.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued dozens of such orders, and more are expected in the coming days.
The United States, the world’s largest food exporter, is the largest importer of BGWF products, accounting for about 30 per cent of the company’s sales.
China has been cracking down on foreign firms that supply food to the region, accusing them of violating the countrys laws and regulations.
“I’m very concerned about the possibility of further spread of the pandivirus,” said a BGWHF official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“In the coming months, we will not be able to supply BGW food to Chinese consumers.”
BGWFH has faced widespread condemnation in China, with many calling for its closure and boycotts of US-supplied products.
“We want to make sure BGW is not used in the future for any kind of mass production,” said Zhang Yong, a representative for the United Chinese Consumers Association, a trade association representing BGW Foods’ US and Canadian customers.
“The more we do this, the greater the risk of other countries importing BGW from the US, and the more our consumers will be affected,” he said.
“They’re very sensitive to that, and if it gets out of hand, they will have a very serious reaction.”
The US has been criticised for failing to prevent a pandemic that killed more than 9,000 people and caused billions of dollars in damages.
BGW, a Chinese brand based in the United Kingdom, has been a major supplier to the US food market.
US food companies have been asked to stop selling BGW products to China and have also faced restrictions in other markets, including Australia, New Zealand and South Korea.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued more than 500 orders targeting foreign food companies over the weekend, and some of them have already been implemented.
In a statement, the US Department for Agriculture (USDDA) said the orders would be suspended until further notice.
China banned imports of Chinese products from US suppliers in February, saying it was “in the public interest” to prevent imports from BGW.
The FDA said in a statement that its authority to issue such orders was limited.
“FDA cannot review a proposed importation ban or importation order based on the country or supplier, as such information is not a complete picture of the situation,” the statement said.
The China Daily newspaper said it had reported the BGW Fuego brand as the source of the imported BGWFA products in China.
B GWF is one of several Chinese brands that have been hit by restrictions in the US in recent months.
In February, China’s State Administration of Quality Supervision and Inspection announced a nationwide food safety inspection program that targeted “foreign manufacturers of Chinese food products” and their suppliers.
It said it would require food and drink manufacturers to register with the government before they can import foreign food products.
In April, China banned a wide range of imported products from the EU, including products from B GW Foods and brands such as Macaroni and Cheese, and Chinese-made cheese from F&l;c; and KFC.
US companies that sell Chinese food are being asked to suspend sales to China in the near future.
BGGF is the fourth most-visited brand in China’s top social media network Weibo, according to data from Chinese research firm Zentang, which is based in Shenzhen.
It has more than 2.5 million followers on Weibo.
China’s Food and Nutrition Department has warned that China’s food security situation could deteriorate further if it continues to be hit by the coronaviruses pandemic, as well as other threats, including food shortages and food-borne illness.