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Action Plan to Guarantee Food Safety

An action plan to ensure the safety of food at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games will be implemented in 2007, a food safety official said on Friday in Beijing.


The Beijing municipal government will allocate funds to ensure the implementation of the plan, Tang Yunhua, a spokesman for the office of food safety, told reporters at a news conference.


According to Tang, the plan will include the establishment of food safety standards, a food safety inspection system, monitoring of the food in stadiums and other venues, a food source-tracing system and an emergency response scheme.


Tests will also be conducted to determine how well Beijing performs in ensuring its food safety.


An experts' committee for food safety during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games was established on July 4, Liu Jian, vice-director of the Beijing Administration for Industry and Commerce, said at the conference.


The 15-member committee includes eight experts from outside China, some of whom took part in ensuring food safety during the Olympic Games in Barcelona, Sydney and Athens, he said.


Tang said Beijing has set up a food safety control network that is based on three levels of municipality, suburbs and county, community and township.


About 70 per cent of the city's communities and villages have food safety supervisors.


Tang said food safety in Beijing has been improving in recent years.


About 100,000 food samples are selected and tested each year by inspectors. "In 1998, 79.8 per cent of the samples were qualified. This percentage rose to 94.9 last year," she said.


In the first half of this year, about 95 per cent of tested samples met standards, she added.


Liu said the major food safety problem currently in Beijing is the excessive use of artificial colours and sulphur dioxide residue due to the over use of food additives.


In the first half of the year, 514 kinds of food were removed from shelves because of quality problems, Liu said.


At Friday's conference, Liu also said his administration resolved 499 trademark violation cases, which totalled about 32.3 million yuan (US$3.98 million).


Also, the administration has issued a notice banning the sales of pirated products from such brands as Gucci and Boss throughout Beijing.


(China Daily July 30, 2005)


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