Vice Premier Wu Yi on Friday asked the country's quality
watchdogs to beef up quality checks of food and toy exports ahead
of the coming Christmas and New Year holidays.
"We must let no substandard products be exported (for the
holiday season)," Wu said while addressing a work conference for
the country's four-month-long nationwide product quality campaign
launched in August.
"It's a good opportunity for us to re-establish the positive
image of Chinese products by providing safe holiday goods for
overseas customers," Wu told the conference in Guangzhou, the
country's manufacturing hub.
Wu also asked the country's customs offices and quality and
quarantine watchdogs to establish a network for information
check-up by the end of the year in a bid to avoid the evasion of
Chinese industries have been battered by a raft of reports
detailing substandard products ranging from drugs to toys.
In the wake of product safety scandals, the Chinese government
responded by introducing a new recall system this summer, embarking
on the four-month nationwide product quality campaign and offered
intensive training courses to domestic toy manufacturers.
Chinese exporters have learned a lesson from the toy recall
crisis."Monitoring has been intensified to cover the entire process
of production, including product design, raw materials and paint,"
according to Wu.
Poisonous paint was one of the major complaints in a spate of
toy recall dramas in the past few months, which the domestic
toy-making industry rejected as individual but not common
It's the third time Wu Yi has headed a product quality
inspection group in the past three months. The previous two
examined food factories, restaurants and farm produce bases in
Zhejiang, Shanghai and Shandong.
"The product safety campaign has been very successful so far,
and we have made major breakthroughs in supervision over small food
producers and children's toy makers," Wu said.
About 499 tons of highly poisonous pesticide such as
methamidophos had been seized in a crackdown on the use of banned
drugs in farm produce and feedstuffs in the past three months, said
Li Changjiang, director of the General Administration of Quality
Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (GAQSIQ), who was also at
Wholesale markets of farm produce in 676 large and medium-sized
cities have been put under the monitoring of relevant authorities,
Li also revealed that 96.3 percent of the country's food
producers had been licensed, while 98.7 percent of the small food
workshops, considered a major threat to public food safety, had
pledged product safety in written documents.
"We have also checked all the production bases of raw materials
for food exports, and all the shipping packages of exported food
have been imprinted with the quarantine and quality check marks,"
Shao Mingli, head of the State Food and Drug Administration
(SFDA), said the administration has taken back 157 Good
Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certificates and shut down nearly 300
drug producers and medical appliance manufacturers.
It has also established a network of drug supply to cover more
than 90 percent of the rural areas, Shao said.
A total of 626 criminal cases involving the production or sale
of substandard food, drugs and farm produce were filed during the
campaign, with 774 suspects brought under control, according to the
"We should continue to aim for the set-up of a long-term
mechanism to consolidate what we have achieved in the campaign to
further improve the country's product quality," Li said.
At the end of last month, China's cabinet approved, in
principle, a draft law on food safety to address the "weak points"
in food production, processing, delivery, storage and sales.
After calling for strengthened supervision over drug production
and sales as well as export products, Wu also called for increased
efforts to work out product standards in accordance with
"We need to achieve the full success of the campaign," Wu
The country is expected to review the achievements of the
four-month campaign in late December or early in January, according
In the past two days, inspectors fanned out to 11 Guangdong
cities to check 18 drug and medical apparatus producers, 12 drug
wholesalers and retailers, 13 export companies, 37 food and other
daily consumer goods suppliers as well as nine local quality
watchdogs and their testing institutions.
Wu herself inspected a toy factory, a drug producer and an
aquatic product company in Guangdong, a province responsible for
one third of the country's total import and export.
"The provincial government will hold the manager of a company as
the first person accountable in the event of any quality crisis and
dispatched special supervisors to most of its pharmaceutical
factories," Wu said after her inspection tour in Guangdong.
She also called for the promotion of good practices for product
quality control, such as the computerized monitoring network
adopted by Guangdong Province, which currently covers 6,500
"The network has not only enabled the authorities to carry out
real-time checks, but also allowed consumers to go online to check
product information," said Wu.
(Xinhua News Agency December 1, 2007)