China has warned India with retaliatory ban if New Delhi continued to restrict import of its dairy products, putting the two countries on the brink of a trade war.
India had recently extended the ban on milk and milk products, including chocolate, exported by China to India till December 24, 2009.
The ban was initially imposed in September 2008 after these products were found to contain melamine, an industrial compound used in making kitchen counter tops and added to milk and other products apparently to cheat nutrition tests.
In retaliation, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China had conveyed to New Delhi that it had encountered food safety problems in imported food products, including seafood and seasame oil, from India.
“The Chinese side further said that if India insists on this decision (the ban), China will respond to the safety and quality issues for imported products from India,” Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya Scindia told the Lok Sabha.
Replying to a similar question in Lok Sabha, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma assured the members that international food standards were being “rigidly” adhered to while importing food products from all countries, including China.
Similar action was taken on import of toys, which contained high lead content, he said in reply to a question by Anto Antony of the Congress.