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China lifts 16-year ban on Italian beef

BUSINESS
China lifts 16-year ban on Italian beef

China has removed a 16-year-long ban on Italian beef, the country's agriculture ministry and its quality control agency announced on Tuesday after a meeting of the Italy-China Government Committee in Beijing chaired by Italy's foreign minister Angelino Alfano and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.

Before Italian beef can return to China, however, the two countries must approve a protocol for the health and safety requirements for the export of beef which must be boneless and from animals aged less than 30 months, the Italian health ministry said in a statement.

The Chinese agriculture ministry and its quality control authority also announced the lifting of a ban on Italian bovine semen imposed in 2012 due to the Schallenberg virus, the Italian health ministry said.

"This every important result for our food system is the fruit of excellent teamwork between the health ministry and the embassy in Beijing," the ministry stated.

The moves came after a Chinese delegation visited Italy in September to assess the health protection offered by Italian agriculture and animal husbandry.

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