China responds to organic fertilizer controversy

T.P. Lokuliyana | Published: 12:58 PM Oct 9 2021
Local China responds to organic fertilizer controversy

China has responded to controversy surrounding organic fertilizer samples imported by Sri Lanka from China, and said the differences should be addressed through dialogue in good faith for the mutual benefits of the China-Sri Lanka cooperation.

The Chinese Embassy in Colombo said in a statement on twitter that both the Chinese company and the Sri Lankan authorities should cooperate on the principles of respecting science and facts and the spirit of contract with the view to resolving this issue promptly.

The Embassy said it contacted the product supplier, Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., Ltd. to examine the issue, and found out that these reports and statements, which had already harmed the reputation of the company in question, directly contradict the facts.

The Embassy said it would like to clarify as follows:

1.Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., Ltd.(here after referred to as Seawin),is a high-tech enterprise focusing in the production of new-type seaweed organic fertilizer, found in 2000 with are registered capital of 132 million RMB (approximately 4.1billion LKR).It’s products, which have passed the EUECOCERT Organic Certification, OMRI Certification, REACH Certification, and Australian Organic Input Certification etc., have been exported to more than 50 countries and regions in the world, including Europe and the United States. It also set up oversea branch companies in the U.S. and Australia.

2. Seawin was selected by the Ministry of Agriculture of Sri Lanka through open tender to supply the urgently needed organic fertilizer.

3. The company has undertaken obligations strictly in accordance with the signed contract. In their production process, the organic fertilizer must be sterilized at 600 °C, thus all harmful microorganisms are killed by the high temperature, which is in line with the standards required in the bidding documents, the contract, the letters of credit as well as the widely accepted international standards for organic fertilizers.

4. In the process of enforcing the contract, however, the Sri Lanka National Plant Quarantine Services(NPQS) claimed that the sample received contained harmful bacteria including Erwinia, after only THREE(3)days of test and analysis, which lead to the above-mentioned news reports.

It is noted that, according to the International Plant Protection Convention, it will take at least SIX (6) days to detect Erwinia. The hasty conclusion made by NPQS is lack of scientific basis. As such, the decision made by the authorities to reject Seawin’s organic fertilizer based on the NPQS report is not only questionable but also causing great financial loss to the company.

5. Therefore, the Embassy hopes that the related parties in Sri Lankan side and the Chinese company could coordinate on the principles of respecting science and facts and the spirit of contract with the view to resolving this issue promptly, and address differences through dialogue in good faith for the mutual benefits of the China-Sri Lanka cooperation.

T.P. Lokuliyana | Published: 12:58 PM Oct 9 2021

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