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Rigid Rules Needed to Protect Food
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China needs to implement a rigid inspection system to ensure that all food products meet safety standards, said experts with the country's top think tank.

Improving the quality of agricultural products requires a sound quality supervision network that makes use of the latest technology, Han Jun, an expert in rural development, said in the recently published Food Safety Green Book.

The traditional model of agricultural production, which relies heavily on chemicals and other harmful elements to protect fishery and poultry products, needs to be replaced with a new model soon, according to Han, who is with the Development and Research Center under the State Council.

To combat the problem, inspection skills should be improved to help root out major pollutant residues that harm farm products, according to the book. Better safety inspection skills should be used in the processing, storage and transportation of food.

The suggestions in the book, the first of its kind in China, may be read closely because of a recent spate of food and product safety scandals.

Experts also urged the government to set up a nationwide food recall system. A pilot scheme exists only in major cities such as Beijing.

Under the pilot scheme, only the local commercial bureau has the right to ban the sale of substandard foods.

(China Daily July 27, 2007)

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