Chinese authorities have said its new food safety law, which came into effect June 1st 2009, will help prevent the food contamination incidents that have caused so much damage to the reputation of its domestic producers.
The legislation aims to toughen up the country’s food monitoring network by imposing more stringent standards, stricter supervision and a recall system for tainted or substandard products. The government has also pledged offenders will face severe punishment.
The Ministry of Health, which will coordinate the law’s implementation, has drafted several extra regulations on food standards, the control of food risks and the management of new products.
Health Minister Chen Zhu announced that experts sitting on two national panels would oversee the system and a national risk control centre would be set up to boost safety evaluation procedures, detection of toxic chemicals and carry out risk assessments.
The food safety law is the government’s response to a string of food contamination scandals over the past few years, including that of melamine-tainted infant milk and dairy products which caused a number of deaths and sickened at least 300,000 people.