China will step up surveillance over the safety of farm products
with the nation's first law on farm products safety expected to
take effect on November 1, deputy agriculture minister Niu Dun said
"We must greatly strengthen the routine surveillance and spot
check of farm products, publicize the results to the public timely
and boost the safety awareness of farm products growers, processors
and traders," he said at a promotion ceremony for the new law in
Beijing's suburban Shunyi District.
Safety management is an important part of China's agricultural
modernization plan and is critical to boosting the international
competitiveness of the country's farm products, the deputy minister
Although there has been some improvement in farm products safety
generally, reports of unsafe products are still quite common in
The latest example is that involving hairy crabs exported to
Taiwan. Taiwan health officials said they detected a carcinogen in
one shipment despite claims from crab farmers that the crabs were
safe for consumption.
Niu said China has already set up a nationwide network of
quality inspection agencies, including 12 at national level, 311 at
ministerial, and 1,780 at provincial, municipal and country
The government plans to make the network more competent and
efficient over the next five years, he said.
(Xinhua News Agency October 23, 2006)