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China vows upgraded food safety risk monitoring

(Xinhua)

10:51, February 11, 2012

BEIJING, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- China will tighten food safety risk monitoring on dairy and meat products, as well as food additives and alcohol this year, according to Health Minister Chen Zhu.

Food-related use of banned pesticides, veterinary medicine, and illegal additives, will also be targeted, said Chen, in a recent interview with Xinhua, referring to key tasks of food safety risks control for 2012.

Meanwhile, the country will increase monitoring of radiation levels in food in response to the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, said Chen.

As a major move to prevent food safety accidents through improved scientific management, China established the National Food Safety Risk Assessment Center in October last year.

The government-funded organization is designed to offer technological support in assessing and monitoring food security risks and food safety standards, as well as issuing early warnings and communicating information regarding the risks and standards.

Calling for top-calibre food safety professionals to join the center, Chen said it will also strive to forge closer technological cooperation with researchers and universities in the sector and improve a nationwide food safety monitoring system.

According to Chen, there are a total of 1,196 sites across China for monitoring food safety risks arising from chemical pollutants, illegal additives and pathogenic microorganisms.

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