The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries admitted on Friday last week that its track record on implementing food safety policies is "abominable".

A senior ministry official slammed the department's performance during a review of its role during fiscal 2001, which has received much attention following the discovery of BSE in September and several false labelling scandals involving companies such as Snow Brand.

In the annual self-assessment review, the ministry assigns a rating of A, B or C to assess its achievements in each of its 123 goals across 70 major policy fields. For the goal of ensuring food safety, the official admitted that it does not even deserve a C.