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China Passes New Food Safety Laws

1 March 2009 917 views No Comment

Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), on Saturday approved a new set of stricter food safety laws after a series of recent tainted food scandals highlighted the shortcomings in the country’s food standards monitoring system.

The new law enforces heavy penalties on those who violate a new set of new national standards on food safety, including large fines, cancellation of licenses and possible criminal charges.

The new measures that take effect on 1st June also calls a stricter and more efficient monitoring and supervision system, a set of national standards on food safety, and a food recall system.

The move consolidates hundreds of separate regulations and standards covering China’s 500,000 food-processing companies, and it calls for the setting up of a state-level food safety commission to oversee the entire food monitoring system.

It pays special attention to food additives and bans companies from using food additives unless can prove they are both necessary and safe. It also makes health authorities directly responsible for approving additives in processed foods.

The new food safety laws come after six Chinese babies were killed and over 53,000 Chinese infants became sick last September after drinking milk product formula laced with melamine, a chemical used as a binding agent and coating for particle, fiber and laminated board, and which can also make milk appear to be full of protein. The scandal led to Chinese dairy products being pulled from shops worldwide.

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