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Vice Premier Urges to Strengthen Food Safety Supervision

Although China strengthened its crackdown on fake and substandard food in 2004, more stringent food and drug safety supervision is required in the future, Vice Premier Wu Yi said Thursday at a national conference on food and drug supervision and management.

Wu said China made obvious achievements in food and drug supervision in 2004.

According to figures released at the conference, China handled 390,000 cases of the production and sale of fake or substandard food, worth 1.46 billion yuan (US$176.5 million) last year.

The country prosecuted 128,000 such cases and handed 1,585 of them over to judicial authorities. Police investigated 5,640 people involved in the cases and arrested 270.

Wu said food and drug supervision and management departments should intensify their efforts to crack down on fake and substandard food and drugs in the new year, further standardize food production and distribution procedures and continue to build and improve a food safety assessment system.

A food safety technology system, a food safety credit system and a food safety warning system are also needed, she said.

She also called for a special campaign to crack down on substandard drugs, medical facilities and health food.

(Xinhua News Agency January 21, 2005)

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