China must end the "tidal wave" of counterfeit goods reaching Europe if it is to guarantee higher levels of product safety, warned EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson today.

Speaking at a food safety summit in Beijing organised by China's product quality watchdog, the AQSIQ, Mandelson said eight in ten counterfeit items seized at the EU's borders in 2006 were made in China.

"A counterfeit product by definition comes with none of the safety guarantees of a genuine product. This is a flood that the Chinese authorities must control - and end."

Mandelson added "notified problems" originating in China are likely to rise this year, despite moves by Chinese authorities to improve food safety.

Last year, Chinese exports of honey, peanuts, unauthorised GM rice and animal feed all prompted safety alerts in the EU.

Mandelson issued a rebuke to China's response to international criticism of its safety record.

"Chinese officials pointed out that less than 1% of China's exports to Europe had alleged health risks. But Europe imports half a billion euros worth of goods from China every day - so even 1% is not acceptable."