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Why supervision on 'drug chicken' lacks intensity

(People's Daily Online)

07:52, January 16, 2013


After CCTV exposed the "fast growing chickens" that grow up in mere 40 days, the issue once again raised public concerns. How did chicken fed with banned drugs escape multiple levels of regulations before reaching the consumers’ dining tables?

The chicken farm involved in the incident, the livestock authority of the origin, the food companies and the supervisory departments of the food companies all failed to hold their regulatory defense lines. KFC, on the other hand, concealed the self-check results from the public after having repeatedly detected antibiotics that exceeded the standards in two years. Chicken with excessive antibiotics thus reached the consumers from the chicken farm.

KFC claimed that it did not intentionally "conceal" the truth because "China's relevant laws do not require enterprises to report the self-check results to the government or disclose to the public".

Yet, the Food Safety Law stipulates that "Food production and operation companies are the first responsible persons for food safety." In this sense, food companies should timely unveil the problems identified to the public "to accept supervision and assume responsibility."

Yum Group said it has input millions yuan annually to entrust the Institute for Food and Drug Control to check and detect all incoming raw materials. Official from Shanghai Food Safety Office said, the Institute for Food and Drug Control carried out detections as needed, charged in accordance with the agreement, and have not received any other fees.

It is hard to detect banned drugs in agricultural products added with such drugs at the beginning of production, because the detections are based on current standards which are different from the original detection standards. As a result, the qualified rate detected does not necessarily reflect the real food safety situation.

Although different regulatory authorities have different scopes, contents, and manners of food safety regulation, their fundamental goals are the same - to ensure food safety. Therefore, multi-party approaches such as joint law enforcement and comprehensive renovation should be adopted to optimize the allocation of resources, and promote the effective implementation of regulatory power without omission.

Read the Chinese version: “药鸡”监管为何乏力. Source:WWW.CYOL.NET

Related Reading:

KFC apologizes for unqualified chicken supply

Sam Su, the Chief Executive Officer of Yum! China Division, apologized to consumers for a series of chicken supplier incidents that happened recently. [Read More]

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