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Agricultural Products Quality Improving
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The overall quality of China's agricultural products is improving, with more than 90 percent of tested vegetables, meat and fish in major cities meeting standards, the Ministry of Agriculture said in a statement on its website on Tuesday.

All meat tested in 25 major cities, including Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Shenyang, met safe standards, said the ministry.

The quality eligibility rate of vegetables in 37 major cities reached 94.3 percent in terms of pesticide residues, the "highest rate in recent years", said the ministry.

However, malachite green, a synthetic dye used to treat fungal infections on fish eggs and which is considered dangerous for humans, was found in some aquiculture products, the ministry said.

Early this year, freshwater fish raised in south China's Guangdong Province for sale to Hong Kong were found to contain malachite green.

The ministry said it would intensify nationwide monitoring of quality of farm products in production bases, wholesale markets, agricultural trading markets and supermarkets.

The State Council, China's cabinet, has unveiled plans for a food safety information monitoring network covering 90 percent of the country.

Food safety still faces enormous problems in China. Just a few days before Tuesday's Dragon Boat Festival, a company in central Anhui Province was caught repackaging for sale more than two tons of rice dumplings, the festival's special treat, up to two years after their production date.

(Xinhua News Agency June 20, 2007)

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