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China says food, drug situation unsatisfactory, vows to improve
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20:52, July 10, 2007

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The Chinese government acknowledged in Beijing Tuesday that China's food and drug safety situation is not satisfactory while listing targets for improvement by 2010.

"As a developing country, China's food and drug supervision work began late and its foundation is weak. This means that the food and drug safety situation is inadequate," said Yan Jiangying, spokeswoman of China's drug watchdog.

Yan said that the Chinese government has set a five-year plan to tighten up the supervision of food and drug products so as to "significantly reduce incidents caused by substandard food or drug products" by 2010.

The State Food and Drug Administration plans to build a national data base to collect and share information on food security and report accidents, which should cover 90 percent of the country by 2010, she said.

It will also conduct regular checks on 90 percent of food producers.

By 2010, 95 percent of food produce in major wholesale markets, farmers' markets and supermarkets will meet national standards, Yan said.

As for drug safety, the administration aims to carry out sample checks on at least 80 percent of medicines by 2010. Currently it only samples 30 percent of medicines.

To realize this target, the government will invest more in monitoring facilities, Yan said.

The Chinese government has been under great pressure to revamp the country's food and drug safety system following a series of incidents attributed to shoddy food and drug products and several bribery sandals involving high-ranking officials of the country's food and drug watchdog.

Source: Xinhua



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