China is investigating a state-owned trading company's role in tainted medicine that killed at least 94 people in Panama, an official said Monday, as the European Union urged Beijing to be more vigilant about product safety.
The developments came as Beijing battled international mistrust about Chinese exports found to contain potentially toxic chemicals and additives. China has recently taken steps aimed at recapturing global confidence in its commitment to ensuring that food, drugs and other products from China are safe.
Last week, quality officials announced that they had shut down the Taixing Glycerin Factory, the company that made the chemical linked to the deaths in Panama, but did not say what happened to the state-owned distributor, CNSC Fortune Way.
"We are currently investigating this business too," said Li Changjiang, head of the General Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.
A woman who answered the phone at Fortune Way said no one was available to comment.
EU Consumer Commissioner Meglena Kuneva met with Li on Monday and later told reporters Beijing should improve its product safety monitoring and provide more information about the measures it takes against manufacturers of fake or shoddy exports.
Over a quarter of all goods the EU imports are from China.