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Supervision Tightens on Food Safety
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China's food safety officials will tighten supervision over farm produce safety, especially with fresh vegetables and aquatic products, said Agriculture Minister Sun Zhengcai Monday.

At a national meeting on quality safety of produce, Sun said the authorities would intensify daily monitoring over and special testing of produce and the materials used in their production.

Inspectors would monitor most closely fresh produce such as vegetables, livestock and aquatic products at production bases, wholesale markets and supermarkets.

They would focus on pesticides, animal medicines, feed additives and fertilizers banned or limited in application.

The official monitoring and test results would be made public, said Sun.

Recent cases of food safety problems include carcinogenic mandarin and turbot fish, and ducks and hens that were fed cancer-causing Sudan Red dye to make their egg yolks red.

Sun said agricultural authorities above county level would send quality inspectors to produce wholesale markets if conditions permitted.

He also instructed agricultural officials to initiate environmental safety evaluations and monitoring of produce production bases, introduce quality safety supervisors in townships to improve business production, and implement a labeling system for genetically modified food and milk.

The government would also boost the development of farmers cooperatives and flagship agricultural businesses, and set up emergency response systems to deal with produce quality incidents.

(Xinhua News Agency January 23, 2007)

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