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Project Launched to Ensure Safety of Food and Medicine

Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi Friday called on local authorities around the country to make marked improvement in guaranteeing the safety of food and medicines this year.

"This is a project that has a bearing on the personal interests of the general public, on public security, on the healthy development of the food and pharmaceutical sectors, on China's foreign trade and on its international image," Wu said at a teleconference of the State Council on the safety of food and medicine.

She said products that are closely linked with the general public, such as grain, meat, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, soybean products and aquatic products, will be the major focus of the rectification of the food market.

She urged the tightening of controls on key links, including production, processing, distribution and consumption, to ensure the safety of these products.

With regard to medicine, Wu urged the strengthening of beginning-to-end supervision of research, production, sales and use of these products.

Wu stressed firm resolve must be made to prohibit the production and sale of the powerful rat poison "dushuqiang" (tetramine), which has been blamed for several major food poisoning cases in recent years.

She called for the early establishment of a social credit system in the food and pharmaceuticals sectors, with public opinion playing a supervisory role in this regard.

Wu said governors and mayors would continue to be held accountable for the safety of food and medicine program in their respective jurisdictions.

(Xinhua News Agency July 20, 2003)

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