China sets up expert panel to assess food safety

08:29, December 09, 2009      

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A panel of 42 experts in the fields of hygiene, agriculture, food and nutrition was set up Tuesday by the Chinese government to conduct risk assessment on food safety.

According to China's Food Safety Law, the expert committee shoulders the responsibilities of formulating risk monitoring and assessment schemes, establishing technical rules and explaining assessment result.

Minister of Health Chen Zhu said that over the next two years, the ministry would establish a national monitoring network for food contaminants and food-borne illness, and begin a national dietary research.

China's Ministry of Health has conducted risk assessment on food contaminants since the 1970s. After the country's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), it has intensified risk assessment on microbiology, chemical contaminants, additives and fortifier in food.

Food safety issues have become particularly sensitive in China since September last year after melamine-contaminated dairy products were found to have left at least six infants dead and sickened about 300,000 others.

Source: Xinhua
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