The Chinese government has called for joint efforts to improve food safety standards in the country, including increased government supervision, industry “self-discipline” and public scrutiny.
Speaking during the country’s food safety week, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang urged government institutions to develop “innovative supervision methods” that examine the “entire process from the production of ingredients to the final products leaving the factory”.
“Wang urged improved legislation on food safety so as to provide the legal foundation for all parties involved in the issue,” a statement released last week by the country’s Food and Drug Administration revealed.
In particular, officials have targeted improved standards in the production of infant formula. Following the 2008 melamine scandal, when six babies died and thousands more were sickened by tainted infant formula, the sector has faced a high degree of public scrutiny.
In details unveiled last week, the Chinese government said infant formula manufacturers will be subject to the same product certification system that applies to drug companies. Manufacturers will also be required to provide food safety authorities with a detailed ingredients list and inform them of changes to the product make-up.