China’s ban on British cheese sparks outrage among MPs

Farming Minister George Eustice has expressed disappointment over China's decision of putting a temporary ban on British cheese, adding that food inspectors would inspect all factories exporting cheese to the Asian country to demonstrate their high standards.

On May 1, China put a ban on all imports of British cheese after its food inspectors condemned hygiene standards at one British diary. The ban sparked outrage among Gloucestershire's cheese producers as well as local MPs.

Reacting to the ban, Mr. Eustice said, "British cheese is the best in the world and produced to the highest safety and quality standards so it is disappointing that China have put a temporary block on cheese imports. Food inspectors will now visit all factories exporting cheese to China to demonstrate their high standards…"

Conservative MP Andrew Percy also claimed that Britain had some of the world's highest food production standards and the world's finest cheese. He argued that China's action was "disproportionate" as the only plant visited by Chinese food inspectors never exported cheese to China.

He called China's ban on British cheese imports a complete over-reaction, and added that attacking the British cheese industry by China was like attacking the Chinese noodle industry by Britain.

Mr. Percy stressed that the matter should be resolved quickly, and in case the ban is not lifted by China, Britain should also take a retaliatory action.