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China to issue safety standards for dairy products within year
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17:18, June 04, 2009

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In the second half of this year, China will issue 96 quality and safety standards for dairy products. At present, there is a large gap between domestic and international safety standards in terms of quantity, category, variety and technology index regulations.

The China Dairy Industry Association disclosed that the standards to be issued will include 15 product standards, 4 production regulations, 63 physical and chemical testing methods and 14 microorganism testing methods. All indices will essentially match international standards.

Following last September's melamine incident, the State Council promulgated a Regulation on the Supervision and Administration of the Quality and Safety of Dairy Products last October.

The Regulation stipulates that national standards for the quality and safety of dairy products should include regulations limiting the amount of pathogenic microorganisms, pesticide residue, veterinary drug residue, heavy metal and other substances harmful to human health in dairy products. Sanitary requirements involved in the production and selling processes, commonly-used testing methods and procedures for dairy products, quality requirements related to the safety of dairy products as well as other regulations will be included in the national standards for the quality and safety of dairy products.

The Regulation also stipulates that the national standards are formulated by the Ministry of Health, which should conduct risk assessment according to supervision and administration information provided by disease information supervision and administration departments. The Ministry must also undertake timely improvements and revisions to the national standards in certain circumstances.

The dairy industry is one of China's key industries in the food manufacturing sector. In recent years the annual average growth rate of the dairy industry has exceeded 20 percent, and there are over 700 large-scale dairy manufacturing enterprises around China. However, the melamine incident indicated that loopholes still exist in testing standards for dairy products and the quality management of enterprises in China.

By People's Daily Online



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