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China Vows to Solve Food Safety Problem
Chinese Minister of Agriculture (MOA) Du Qinglin said Sunday China is going to formulate quality and safety standards and an authentication system for the farm industry and realize non-polluted food production in about five years.

Du told a national meeting held in Beijing that the quality and safety of farm products is the passport to the global market.

Statistics from MOA show that at present China has not yet set up a system to safeguard the quality of farm products.

Pesticide-residue, heavy metal pollution, epidemic disease and abuse of additive have greatly affected the export of China's farm products.

Besides, safety of farm products has also affected people's health. Officials from the State Economic and Trade Commission said in China, every year there are 200,000 people are poisoned by vegetable with pesticide residue and livestock products with epidemic disease.

To solve this problem, Du said, China is to set up three systems on food safety, which are quality standard system, quality quarantine and control system and quality authentication system.

China also encourages the adoption of advanced international standards on food safety and is actively pushing forward the national standards to international levels. It will adopt a number of authentication and labeling systems, including HACCP, GMP and green food.

A document on the implementation of food safety plan recently published by the MOA announced that the quality of vegetable, fruit, tea, edible mushroom, livestock and fishery products should reach national standards and 95 percent of the farm products in the supermarkets in big and medium cities should pass spot-check in the next five years.

At present, China has set up a relatively complete law system with the Law of Food Hygiene as the core.

(Xinhua News Agency August 19, 2002)

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