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HK, Guangdong Sign Food Safety Deal
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Hong Kong and Guangdong have signed a framework agreement on exchanges and cooperation in food safety, according to a government report on Tuesday.

Two sides reached a deal following their first working meeting on this issue in Guangzhou, and the deal will foster mutual exchange of food safety information following the setting up of the Center for Food Safety in the middle of this year, said CarrieYau, Permanent Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food.

According to the deal, two sides will enhance information exchange - including significant food safety policies, regulations, standard introduction, revision or updating, as well as information and investigation findings on significant food safety incidents.

They are set to have regular meetings at least once a year to review mutual cooperation and study the work arrangements at the next stage or major incidents; experts of both sides will study the specialty and technicality issues relating to food safety to provide views for the governments' reference in policy making.

Hong Kong was working to strengthen links with Guangdong and neighboring cities to enhance the food safety mechanism since last year when a series of food incidents including the malachite green and Streptococcus suis cases aroused widespread concern over food safety.

Yau said the work concerning the information, surveillance, investigation, publicity, education and research on food safety will become more systematic following the setting up of the Center for Food Safety.

Public awareness of and confidence in food safety will also be raised, added Yau.

(Xinhua News Agency April 12, 2006)

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