Chemicals for Mexican fentanyl not from China, embassy in Mexico says

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -Precursor chemicals used by Mexican cartels to make the deadly opioid fentanyl do not come from China, the country’s embassy in Mexico said on Tuesday, rejecting U.S. officials’ claims.

The embassy said in a statement that China had a number of measures in place to prevent the trafficking of substances used to make illegal drugs, and added the U.S. was “blindly shirking its responsibilities” by not taking domestic action.

“The root of the fentanyl crisis in the United States is within itself,” the embassy said.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has been seeking cooperation with both Mexico and China in stemming the flow of fentanyl, which has fueled a health crisis and a sharp uptick in overdose deaths, as well as its precursor chemicals.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency says the addictive painkiller and its precursors are transported from China to Mexico, the U.S. and Canada, often by international mail.

China had denied illegal trafficking of fentanyl to Mexico in an April statement, though it did not address precursor chemicals.

The embassy on Tuesday added China was “actively coordinating and strengthening” supervision of drug-making substances with Mexico.

(Reporting by Kylie Madry; Editing by Isabel Woodford)