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Food safety supervision overwhelms food crime

By Zhang Yang (People's Daily)

16:24, September 15, 2011

Edited and Translated by People's Daily Online

Recently, public security authorities of Zhejiang, Shandong, Henan and other provinces, under the command of the Ministry of Public Security, successfully cracked down upon a criminal case of using swill oil to produce "edible oil" and seized more than 100 tons of "edible oil" extracted from gutter oil following a 4-month probe.

Although the swill oil "industry" has been a "legend" for a long time, the public security departments were shocked when they were destroying the underground production line of hogwash oil: The production line covers several provinces, the output is tens of tons per day, and the disgusting oil is transported to super markets for people's consumption.

While people are celebrating the destruction of an illegal production line, their concerns are not assuaged yet.

After many food safety incidents were exposed, the illegality of making "edible oil" from gutter oil has still been industrialized and is being carried out in so large a scale. It is worth people's in-depth reflection.

Currently, China has established a food safety supervision and administration system and the Food Safety Law has clearly defined the duties of the relavant government departments including sanitary control, food safety, business administration and quality control. A supervision and administration pattern of every department performing its own functions, executing its own duties and being coordinated in a unified way has, reportedly, formed in China.

It offers a fundamental systemic guarantee for the food safety and plays a role of food safety screen to some extent.

In a sense, the system is important, but the sense of responsibility and the initiative are more important. It could be said that the Ministry of Public Security of China cracking down on the hogwash oil production reflects its devotion to duty, which is welcomed by the general public and deters food criminals.

But we still need to ask: When illegal gutter oil traders were greatly developing this kind of business in the past years, where were our functional departments being responsible for supervisions on the production link, circulation link and other links?

If the administrative supervision had defects or shortcomings, the commitment of guaranteeing the food safety will be nothing but empty words. The hogwash oil case rang the food safety alarm once again, and to realize the food safety, nothing is more important than strengthening the supervision and administration on the food.

For our administrative departments, they must not only stop doing nothing, but also start to do omething effectively and scientifically. While the supervisors are combating the lawbreakers, the supervisors must always hold a dominant position and always overwhelm the criminals.


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