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Watchdog steps up standards on recalls

By Shan Juan  (China Daily)

13:16, June 15, 2013

Visitors at a food safety exhibition wait to sample lead-free deep-fried dough sticks in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Friday. The event was meant to improve residents' knowledge of food safety. (XINHUA / JU HUANZONG)

The China Food and Drug Administration, or CFDA, the country's top food and drug watchdog, has vowed to further strengthen quality supervision over products to ensure timely recalls, particularly from overseas.

The high-profile pledge came in an online notice issued by the administration on Thursday, informing the public of a meeting earlier that day between it and Johnson & Johnson, a US medical device, pharmaceutical and consumer packaged goods manufacturer.

Since 2009, the company has issued 33 product recalls on the Chinese mainland, statistics from the administration show.

However, the Health Times reported on Sunday that Johnson & Johnson has issued 51 product recalls since 2005 worldwide, of which 48 were not issued on the Chinese mainland.

Products recalled ranged from blood-sugar meters to hip-implant parts, while most were over-the-counter medications, including the allergy medicine Zyrtec and pain reliever Motrin, reports said.

Complaints about these products included musty smell, the presence of metal shavings and excessive dose concentrations.

Many of the products have remained on the mainland market.

The company has withdrawn about 1.6 million bottles of products, including the popular cold syrup Children's Tylenol, in South Korea in late April, citing a risk of liver damage.

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