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China bans food imports during Olympics

By ninemsn staff
|
Air date: Wednesday, April 30, 2008
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Chinese officials have issued a ban on Australian shipments of food for the Beijing Olympics, insisting all food be sourced from within China.

It is understood the Chinese have introduced the ban to maximise revenue for local food producers, News Ltd reports.

Traditionally Australian athletes have been allowed to take foods to the Olympics to meet their strict dietary needs.

The Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic Games has added a clause in its freight manual outlining the ban.

But Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) president John Coates doubts there will be a problem taking food from Australia.

However, Mr Coates said he was not concerned.

"I'm sure we'll get it in," he told Fairfax Radio Network.

Australia has already sent a shipment of food to China containing boxes of cereal, muesli bars and power bars.

A second shipment including stocks of Vegemite is due to be sent to China in the next few months.

"We take a lot of supplies, a container load of supplies. We're taking extra water, bottled water, things like that. I'd be very surprised if we don't get there at the end of the day," Mr Coates said.

Australian Olympic team nutritionist Professor Louise Burke told News Ltd a lot of the food the team was taking was not readily available in China.

"A lot of the food we are taking is not readily available in China. We would like to take these products because they help our athletes feel at home," Australian Olympic team nutritionist Professor Louise Burke told News Ltd.

"We haven't got to the point of contemplating this horrible scenario (of having Australian containers banned)."

Among the banned products is a protein carbohydrate powder used to mix energy shakes.

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