China's food and drug regulator, the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), kicked off the 2006 food safety evaluation campaign in 31 major cities on Friday.
The campaign, in its fourth year in China, aims to evaluate local government food safety supervision performance and citizen's satisfaction with food safety over the past 12 months.
Sun Xianze, director of the SFDA's food safety coordination department, told a national food safety conference in Beijing on Friday that 12 evaluation teams composed of officials from SFDA and other governmental departments including the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Health, will set off for the country's four municipalities and 27 provincial or regional capital cities this weekend.
Sun said the 2006 food safety evaluation campaign will cover three major indices -- urban government performance, consumer satisfaction and food safety inspection.
The China Consumers' Association has just finished investigating the level of consumer satisfaction in the 31 cities, and official inspection agencies have carried out the safety evaluation for some specific items such as vegetables, wheat powder, and infant milk powder.
The SFDA said it would publish the final evaluation result for the 31 cities in a month.
The Chinese government has made a sustained effort to improve food safety supervision in the last 12 months, with a series of measures implemented nationwide. Experts said the annual food safety evaluation campaign has helped to promote regional food safety supervision.
(Xinhua News Agency January 5, 2007)