Chinese Embassy defends firm after Lanka junks organic fertiliser over harmful bacteria concerns

WION Web Team
Colombo Published: Oct 09, 2021, 04:46 PM(IST)

A man spreading fertiliser in a field (representative image).  Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Sri Lanka has issued a clarification in row over the organic fertilizer provided by the country's firm, Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group, containing harmful bacteria. It said, the hasty conclusion made by Sri Lanka National Plant Quarantine Services lacks scientific basis. The decision made by the authorities to reject Seawin’s organic fertiliser based on the report is questionable, it added

In the latest development in the row over China’s organic fertilizer containing harmful bacteria, the country’s embassy in Sri Lanka has issued a clarification.  

In a statement, the embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Sri Lanka has given clarification on the organic fertilizer to be supplied by Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group to the country. This comes after the embassy contacted the product supplier to examine the issue.   

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The statement said that in the process of enforcing the contract, the Sri Lanka National Plant Quarantine Services (NPQS) claimed that the sample received contained harmful bacteria including Erwinia, after only three days of test and analysis, but as per the International Plant Protection Convention, it takes at least six days to detect the bacteria.   

The hasty conclusion made by NPQS lacks scientific basis. The decision made by the authorities to reject Seawin’s organic fertilizer based on the report is not only questionable but also causes great financial loss to the company, read the statement.   

The embassy said it hopes that the related parties on Sri Lankan side and the Chinese company could coordinate to resolving this issue and address differences through dialogue in good faith for the mutual benefits of the China-Sri Lanka cooperation.

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Sri Lanka’s Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said samples from China had tested positive for the presence of the Erwinia Bacteria, which is harmful to certain cultivations in the country.  

The minister said the government will never import fertilizer that is harmful to humans, animals, and plants and will only import fertiliser that meets the standards imposed by the Sri Lanka Standards Institute (SLSI).  

(With inputs from agencies) 

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