China's top legislature launches new round of inspection on food safety law implementation

08:57, March 25, 2011      

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The Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC) launched a new round of national inspections Thursday to ensure the country's Food Safety Law is properly enforced.

This is the second time for national lawmakers to tour nationwide since the Food Safety Law took effect in June 2009. The first inspection was conducted from September to December 2009, according to a statement released after the first plenary session of the inspection groups.

In written instructions forwarded to Thursday's meeting, China's top legislator Wu Bangguo said the new round of inspections was aimed at urging the government to better enforce the Food Safety Law and to help solve major problems and difficulties in enforcing the law.

Wu, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, asked lawmakers to lead in-depth, comprehensive inspections and to conduct supervision to be sure the State Council, or the Cabinet, and relevant government departments "never slack off in their work in safeguarding food safety so as to let the public rest assured."

The Food Safety Law, which went into effect on June 1, 2009 to replace the outdated Food Hygiene Law, was formulated to improve the efficiency of the food safety monitoring network through tougher standards, stricter supervision, a recall system for substandard products and severe punishments for offenders.

The top legislature planned to send four inspection groups, headed by Lu Yongxiang, vice chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, to seven provincial-level areas including Inner Mongolia, Jilin, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Hubei, Sichuan and Shaanxi from April to June.

Provincial-level legislature in other areas will be entrusted by the NPC to supervise the enforcement of the law.

Apart from checking compliance with the law, Lu said the groups would inspect the regions to see whether difficulties and problems discovered during the last round of inspections had been effectively addressed and whether relevant departments had formulated or improved supporting regulations.

The inspection groups will also check to see whether a sound food safety supervision mechanism has been put into place as well as to determine progress made in establishing both a national food safety risk assessment system and a food safety standard management system, Lu said.

Lu said many regions had not completed the reform of the food safety supervision mechanism after the top legislature concluded the first round of the inspection tour.

Source: Xinhua
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