Tuesday, October 6, 2020

"How a Chilean raspberry scam dodged food safety controls from China to Canada"

Much of that product, the documents showed, came from Harbin Gaotai Food Co Ltd, a Chinese supplier. Canadian health authorities later linked berries from Harbin Gaotai to a 2017 norovirus outbreak in Quebec that sickened hundreds of people. Canadian authorities issued a recall on Harbin Gaotai berries coming directly to Canada from China dating back to July 2016.

What they didn't realize is that Harbin Gaotai raspberries had also entered Canada through a backdoor during that period in the form of falsely labeled fruit shipped from Chile by Frutti di Bosco.


Harbin Gaotai, based in Binzhou, China, didn't respond to requests for comment. Its products have raised concerns elsewhere. The company since 2009 has been on a U.S. Food and Drug Administration watchlist


Ramirez last year pleaded guilty to two criminal counts of making false statements on export declarations. He received a $6,266 fine and a suspended 122-day jail sentence. Chilean Customs had recommended a maximum fine of $55.6 million.