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China to enhance food, water safety


09:21, December 12, 2012

BEIJING, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- A senior health official vowed on Tuesday to intensify supervision of food and water safety in the coming year.

In 2012, China published 88 new standards on food safety and expanded the monitoring network on chemical contaminants and pathogenic microorganisms in food from 25 percent of county-level administrative regions to 47 percent, according to Vice Minister of Health Chen Xiaohong.

Speaking at a forum on health supervision, Chen pledged that 60 percent of counties would be covered by the end of 2013.

In July, China updated its standard on water safety, which now consists of 106 indicators instead of the previous 35.

Eight-three percent of water from plants in cities qualified under the new standard, according to Chen.

The vice minister briefed that some 28,600 water safety inspection stations have been set up so far, covering all cities at or above prefecture level and 30 percent of all counties.

Chen also reviewed measures taken to meet the requirements of the newly revised Law on Occupational Illness Prevention and Control.

In 2012, 486 additional medical institutions were licensed to offer occupational health inspection services, according to Chen, who added that adequate occupational health evaluation centers would be available in more than 90 percent of China's counties by next year.

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