Food Safety a Work in Progress

What are ways in which China can improve its capacity to supervise its burgeoning food sector? Zhang Yong, head of the food safety commission; Zheng Fengtian, deputy dean of the School of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development at Renmin University of China; and Sang Liwei, a food-safety lawyer in Beijing and a representative of the Global Food Safety Forum, weigh in. From China Daily:

The government will continue to overhaul the food industry, concentrating in particular on dairy products, cooking oil, health foods, meat and alcohol this year, said Zhang Yong, director of the executive office of the food safety commission under the State Council, the nation’s Cabinet.

“China is in a period when food safety incidents are likely to arise” because the food industry is developing rapidly and many food producers and restaurants run small-scale businesses sometimes haphazardly, Zhang told Xinhua News Agency on Thursday.

Zhang gave pig-raising as an example, saying that China has more than 67 million pig farmers while the number of their counterparts in the United States has dropped to 70,000.

Most Chinese pig farms are small businesses, and they are spread across the country, posing huge supervisory difficulties, he said.

May 7, 2011 12:10 AM
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