China will launch a nationwide inspection on food safety in its rural areas and urban-rural conjunctive regions, according to a notice released by China's food and drug watchdog on Friday.
As a part of a four-month nationwide campaign to improve the quality of goods and food safety in China, the special inspection will target "small-sized food companies, workshops and restaurants in rural areas," in an effort to eradicate hidden dangers of food accidents, the notice said.
The State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) said that by the end of 2007, the governments at township level and county levels must establish food accident response systems.
Local governments should shoulder their responsibilities to discover, report and handle food safety accidents timely through the systems.
Compared with citizens in the affluent urban areas, people in China's rural areas are easier to be victims of inferior goods and unsafe food because of lax supervision and financial difficulties.
The SFDA also asked local food and drug agencies to severely punish those who engage in producing and marketing fake or substandard goods.
Late last month, the Chinese government started a four-month nationwide campaign to improve the quality of goods and food safety.
The campaign will target farm produce, processed food, catering sector, drugs, pork, imported and exported goods and products in close link to human safety and health.
(Xinhua News Agency September 1, 2007)