China's top legislator orders in-depth inspection on enforcement of food safety law

16:27, April 16, 2011      

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China's top legislator Wu Bangguo has asked lawmakers to lead in-depth, comprehensive inspections over the enforcement of the country's Food Safety Law to ensure that relevant government departments do not slack off in their work in safeguarding food safety.

Wu, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), made the remarks in written instructions to the on-going inspection mission which was launched in March this year to ensure proper enforcement of the law.

The latest round of national inspections, which was launched by the NPC Standing Committee, 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.

Prior to launching the inspection mission, Wu said last month that 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.

The Food Safety Law, which went into effect on June 1, 2009 to replace the outdated Food Hygiene Law, was devised to improve the efficiency of the food safety monitoring network through tougher standards, stricter supervision, a recall system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.

From April 6 to 15, the top legislature dispatched three groups of lawmakers, each headed by a vice chairperson of the NPC Standing Committee, to inspect the food safety situation in Sichuan and Hubei Provinces and Shanghai Municipality.

National lawmakers would continue their inspection in four other provincial-level areas including Inner Mongolia, Jilin, Jiangsu, and Shaanxi. And they are expected to conclude the mission by June this year.

Provincial-level legislatures in other areas will be trusted by the NPC to supervise the enforcement of the law in their own jurisdictions.

Apart from checking compliance with the law, the inspection groups will 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, according to the NPC.

Source: Xinhua

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