Dairy review deadline moved

09:03, February 25, 2011      

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The deadline for reinspecting the manufacturing licenses of dairy producers has been postponed to the end of March, one month later than originally planned, a government official said on Thursday.

Speaking at a news conference, Li Yuanping, the spokesman with the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, called on local inspectors, especially those in the chief regions of dairy production, to hasten their work so they can finish by the end of March.

Li said dairy producers will be forced to shut down if they have let their standards slip or have failed to pass the quality inspections being conducted throughout the country. Li also said the administration will dispatch squads to local provinces and cities to check on the work, which began in mid-March.

Up to now, the administration has reinspected a third of the dairy enterprises, according to the news conference.

In the Laixi district of Qing-dao, East China's Shandong province, where a batch of dairy companies have assembled, nine out of 13 local producers have taken a variety of steps to meet the new requirements, said the local-based newspaper City Sun on Thursday.

Among other changes, they have made improvements to their plants and hired more professionals.

A local man, who only wanted to be identified as Chen, said the dairy where he works as a manager spent more than 2 million yuan ($303,000) to buy advanced equipment after the inspections began.

Sang Liwei, a food safety lawyer in Beijing, told China Daily the inspections have at least sowed fear among dairy producers who had thought the government's threats of stricter regulation were merely a bluff.

But he also warned that shutting down Chinese producers could allow overseas competitors to dominate the market, hurting the domestic dairy industry.By Qiu Bo, China Daily
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