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China food safety agreement signed with Japan

4 February 2010 4,735 views No Comment

According to reports in the Japanese Industrial and Economic News, China and Japan are close to signing an agreement on food safety.

It is reported that the two governments reached an understanding on the agreement in October 2009, during a meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

The report states the purpose of the agreement is to reassure Japanese consumers following the “Poisonous Dumplings Incident” in 2008 when ten Japanese suffered from food poisoning as a result of eating dumplings made in China. Under the agreement, Japanese representatives can enter Chinese food factories to check on the quality of food products, including food additives, food packaging and containers, and on baby toys.

In addition, the agreement says that each party shall notify the other party when problems occur with food and, when necessary, provide the other party with information such as original place of manufacture and manufacturer, and distributer of the products. Besides, a regular ministerial meeting will be held by the two parties every year to make detailed food safety plans and to explore ways of solving food safety problems.

In early 2008, ten Japanese citizens got food poisoning after eating dumplings made in China. Although so far there is no evidence showing that the food poisoning was caused by the Chinese dumpling products, the image of made-in-China products was greatly damaged in Japan and even triggered political disputes between the two countries.

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