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Nationwide campaign uncovers shoddy foods
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China has destroyed 667 tons of inferior and/or shoddy food products and ordered 446 tons to be removed from the market by October 8 in a nationwide campaign to improve the quality of goods and food safety, according to official statistics.

The four-month overhaul, described by Vice Premier Wu Yi as a "special battle" to ensure public health and interests and uphold the reputation of Chinese products, covered 120,000 wholesale and retail markets, and found 1,690 places that produced or sold inferior products.

The campaign, launched in August, targeted farm produce, processed food, the catering sector, drugs, pork, imported and exported goods and products closely linked to human safety and health.

Though the campaign has been effective in improving product quality, the government still needs to establish "a long-term monitoring mechanism" to guarantee food safety, said Zhou Bohua, head of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce.

Currently only about 60 percent of small-scale food shops in towns and urban communities record incoming goods. The situation in bigger cities is better: approximately 90 percent of the food retailers in wholesale markets, department stores and supermarkets keep written records.

"A strict recall system should be established and implemented under government supervision," said Zhou.

(Xinhua News Agency October 26, 2007)

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