China asks RP to lift ban on White Rabbit, other sweets
MANILA, Philippines -- China has asked the Philippines to lift the ban on selling and distributing popular Chinese sweets, a diplomat said Monday.
The diplomat, who asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak on the matter, said Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi personally raised China’s appeal to Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo during their bilateral meeting at the sidelines of the 14th ASEAN Regional Forum held here last week.
The Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) has ordered White Rabbit Creamy Candy, Milk Candy, Balrong Grape Biscuits and Yong Kang Foods Grape Biscuits to be withdrawn from the market after formaldehyde was found in them.
Formaldehyde is an embalming fluid that can cause stomach bleeding and death when taken in large amounts.
Yang said such a ban on Chinese products had serious impact on the image of China, which has been the biggest exporter of manufactured food products, textiles, and electronics to Southeast Asian countries.
China -- which is among the 10 ASEAN dialogue partners that include Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, India, Russia, Canada, United States, and the European Union -- has faced several food and drug quality scandals in recent months.
The Chinese manufacturer of White Rabbit had blamed counterfeiters for the harmful samples of White Rabbit candy tested in the Philippines.
China is one of the country’s biggest trading partners with bilateral trade volume steadily increasing at the rate of 38 percent over the last five years.
China exports semi-conductors, electronic parts, gas, oil, wheat, coal, fertilizer, and crude liquefied butane to the Philippines. On the other hand, the Philippines exports copper cathodes, machinery parts and accessories, fuel oils, fresh bananas, and crude coconut oil to some of China’s provinces, including Fujian, Guangdong, and Shanghai.