Chaos in China's Grain and Oil Transportation: A Comparison of the Regulations between the United States and China Chaos in China's Grain and Oil Transportation: A Comparison of the Regulations between the United States and China

Chaos in China's Grain and Oil Transportation: A Comparison of the Regulations between the United States and China

Chaos in China's Grain and Oil Transportation: A Comparison of the Regulations between the United States and China

The Beijing News recently reported that a few days ago, a tanker truck loaded with liquid wax, white oil and other liquids from Ningxia to Hebei went to another place to load edible soybean oil and other liquids for further transportation after unloading. The report pointed out that some operators did not clean the tanks when changing goods in order to save costs; in addition, large grain and oil companies such as Sinograin and Huifu did not strictly control the inspection. When they saw the words "edible oil" on the tank, they would release it regardless of the multiple alterations on it, or only check whether the oil leak was clean.

Zhu Yi, associate professor of the School of Food Science and Engineering at China Agricultural University, told the Beijing News that special vehicles should be used to transport edible oil. If it is mixed and not cleaned up, coal-to-oil contains unsaturated hydrocarbons, aromatic hydrocarbons, sulfides and other ingredients that will affect human health and may cause poisoning and damage the respiratory and digestive systems.

According to the Beijing News, Chinese companies are supposed to comply with the "Bulk Transportation Specifications for Edible Vegetable Oils" implemented in 2014, use special vehicles to transport bulk edible vegetable oils, and carefully check whether the transport containers are clean and dry. However, the "Specifications" are only recommendations and therefore have limited binding force.

Wang Jian, a senior journalist in the United States, told this station that similar problems had occurred in China 19 years ago. The fact that it happened again now shows that everyone from companies to drivers has "declined morally." In addition, even if the Office of the Food Safety Committee of the State Council of China sets up a joint investigation team and vows to severely punish according to law and publish the results of the investigation in a timely manner, whether there is a follow-up accountability mechanism and whether the system has changed can show "how serious the Communist Party of China is about this matter."

According to CCTV News, the China Food Safety Office organized a meeting with the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Transport, the State Administration for Market Regulation, the State Grain and Reserves Administration and other departments to study the issue, and set up a joint investigation team to conduct a thorough investigation and severely punish the illegal companies and relevant responsible persons in accordance with the law. The China National Grain and Oils Corporation and Huifu Grain and Oil Group involved in the incident also stated that they would not rule out terminating cooperation with transportation units and carriers found to have violated regulations, or putting them on the procurement "blacklist".

In response to the chaotic phenomenon of Chinese tank trucks unloading coal-to-oil and then directly switching to edible oil without cleaning, this station asked the US industry how it ensures the safety of edible oil transportation.

Sarah M. deVille, quality management director of Restaurant Technologies, an American company that provides edible oil management and related solutions to nearly 40,000 restaurants, hotels, hospitals, casinos and other customers, told this station that bulk transportation of edible oil (unpackaged) in the United States is mainly regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration, and failure to comply with regulations will result in the revocation of authorization.

In a written response to our interview, Deville said, "Bulk transportation of edible oil must use specialized equipment and transportation systems built with FDA-approved materials. FDA regulations and industry standards also require that a system must be established to ensure that customers receive the correct oil, which includes meeting the pre-defined criteria agreed upon by suppliers and customers, and eliminating any possibility of contamination or adulteration. The actual implementation is through transportation logs, lockout tags, and cleaning records to understand what cargo the tanker has previously transported, the cleaning time of the tanker and transportation equipment, and the water temperature during cleaning."

Upon receipt of bulk oil, the FDA also requires a paperwork review to ensure all recorded information is correct, perform any necessary verification testing, ensure lockout tags remain in place, and inspect tank trucks and transfer equipment for contamination from previous shipments, Deville wrote. “Any broken lockout tags or evidence of contamination will result in the shipment being rejected and sent back to the supplier for investigation.”


  1. Urgent reforms and strict enforcement are necessary to ensure public health and trust.

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