A Chinese lawmaker has appealed to set up a trans-ministry
agency to shoulder the responsibilities, which are undertaken by
several government departments, for food safety in the hope of
preventing food safety scares.
Zheng Xinsui, a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC),
or parliament, said that the segmented supervision often results in
loopholes in food safety.
Zheng, also an executive with the All-China Federation of
Industry and Commerce, said a full set of food safety criteria
should be set up at an earlier date and officials must be held
accountable for food safety accidents.
He blamed the segmented and lax government checking for a string
of food safety problems last year including parasite-infested
snails, turbots that contain excessive amount of carcinogens, ducks
and hens that were fed cancer-causing Sudan Red dye to make their
egg yolks red.
Food safety has become a major concern of Chinese people.
According to a survey by the State Food and Drug Administration, 65
percent of the respondents worried about the food safety situation
He suggested that the government set up a "farmland to kitchen"
food safety supervision mechanism to include food growing and
circulation processes into the overall checks.
Ren Yuling, a member of National Committee of the Chinese
People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the top
political advisory body, said earlier the current punishments are
often too slack to deter those involved in large-scale food safety
(Xinhua News Agency March 15, 2007)