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China to reassess food safety supervision system
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16:34, July 20, 2007

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The Chinese government is reassessing the way in which it supervises food safety in order to improve the efficiency of the current system, a senior quality control official said on Friday.

Li Changjiang, minister in charge of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), said that various government departments are responsible for food safety in China. The government is reassessing the current supervision mechanism, he said, adding new measures will be taken to enhance supervision after sufficient investigations and studies are made.

The existing food supervision system involves at least five central government departments - AQSIQ, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Health and the State Food and Drug Administration - which are responsible for supervising farming, production and processing, and distribution and selling.

New laws should be made to facilitate cooperation among different government agencies in order to change the overlapping food supervision system, Vice Health Minister Wang Longde said earlier this month.

Li said China was endeavoring to tackle its food safety problem in a comprehensive way.

"To ensure the quality of food exports, the Chinese government has set up a monitoring system that covers plantations, breeding farms and production bases," said Li. "Only products that pass strict quarantine inspection are allowed to be exported."

Source: Xinhua

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