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Coordination of Food Safety Inspection Strengthened
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China's Health Ministry made public Wednesday an interim regulation aimed at strengthening coordination of food safety inspection in the 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions on the Chinese mainland.

The Ministry is soliciting public opinion on the regulation, which is posted on its website.

The regulation stipulates that health watchdogs at the provincial level have to inform their counterparts about cases of substandard food sold or manufactured within their jurisdiction.

The two sides should debrief each other through express mail, direct phone, fax or E-mail.

The Health Ministry is responsible for supervising such information across the country.

Last year China experienced a string of food safety problems including steroid-tainted pork, parasite-infested snails, turbots that contain excessive amount of carcinogens, and ducks that were fed cancer-causing dye to make their egg yolks red.

Food poisoning claimed 196 lives in China last year, according to the Ministry.

(Xinhua News Agency March 16, 2007)

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