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Revisions to food safety laws 'urgently' needed

By Wang Xiaodong (China Daily)

09:50, June 15, 2013

China is considering revisions to its Food Safety Law, according to its top food and drug regulator.

An official from China Food and Drug Administration, who preferred to remain anonymous, told China Daily on Friday that the administration has gathered opinions from experts on revising the Food Safety Law. However, no specific timetable was revealed.

Amendment of the current Food Safety Law, which took effect in June 2009, is "urgently necessary" as some of its articles fail to meet the changes of the food safety situation, such as the adjustment of food safety supervision and the development of food industry and technology, the administration revealed in a statement released on June 6 on its website.

Liu Peizhi, deputy director of China Food and Drug Administration, said revisions may include harsher punishments for law violations and new regulations on areas uncovered by the current law, such as online food businesses.

"Work on the Food Safety Law revisions should start soon," added Li Shichun, president of China Law Society's food safety law committee. "Revising the law will be a major step (in the improvement of China's food safety)."

A major reason revisions are needed is to help cope with changes in the food safety supervision mechanism, he said.

China streamlined its food safety supervision authorities in March, by promoting the former vice-ministerial level State Food and Drug Administration to a ministerial-level central government department.

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