Home / Health / News Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Guangdong Seeks End to Food Safety Woes
Adjust font size:

Officials in Guangzhou are taking the unprecedented step of setting up a regional recall system for tainted food in an effort to overcome the lack of a national mechanism to ensure food safety.

"The problem of unsafe foodstuffs has been so worrisome to local people. The draft rules for the new food-recall system in Guangdong is just in time. They will help ensure food safety within the province, " Zhang Junxiu, president of the Guangdong Food Industry Association, told China Daily over the phone.

Indeed, the past month has been a turbulent one for food safety in China.

First, industrial dye appeared in red-yolk duck eggs from North China's Hebei Province and East China's Zhejiang Province. Then turbot fish from East China's Shandong Province were found to contain poisonous chemicals.

And late last week, mandarin fish and daces from South China's Guangdong Province that had been shipped to Hong Kong were found to contain high levels of malachite green, a carcinogenic chemical.

The Guangdong Provincial People's Congress was reviewing a draft of the province's new regulations yesterday. Once the regulations take effect, they will be China's first regional system for recalling unsafe food. Zhang said the move would make up for the gap in national food safety regulations.

According to the draft regulations, relevant administrative authorities will urge food suppliers to recall any unsafe food products. The regulations will also prohibit any contaminated foods from being sold after being recalled.

Different authorities will be responsible for different parts of the recall system to ensure that supervision and execution are efficient.

While the regulations call on food suppliers, wholesalers and retailers to set up production and circulation archives, they also forbid any food safety supervision, examination or testing agencies from being involved in the production and sale of food. The draft regulations also spell out early warning and preventative mechanisms to handle food safety crises.

There will be a period of public comment before the draft becomes effective. Some residents of the province do not want to wait that long.

"I hope the regulations will become effective immediately," said Wu Xiaopei, a housewife in Guangzhou. "With so many unsafe foods, from eggs to fish, I really wonder whether there are any safe foods in the market. I have been absolutely puzzled over what to cook for my family," she added.

The mandarin fish scare has already hurt vendors in Guangzhou's markets. "Though no malachite green has been found in the 30-odd fresh-water fish sampled for testing in Guangzhou, sales of the fish have nosedived in the past couple of days," said Chen Zhiyong, director of Guangzhou Huangsha Seafood Market, the city's largest aquatic food market.

Even after cutting the prices of mandarin fish and daces by almost half, few people have been willing to buy the delicate fish, he said.

(China Daily November 29, 2006)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read

Related Stories
Egg Fear Urges HK to Strengthen Food Import Scheme
Cancer-causing Fish Slip Through Food Safety Supervision Net
Contaminated Salted Eggs Found in More Chinese Provinces
Food Safety Officials Must Be on Alert
Sales of Contaminated Turbot Banned in Beijing
Fresh Duck Eggs Found to Contain Sudan Red in Fujian
Shandong Bans Sales of Contaminated Turbot
Aquaculture Under Inspection Following Fish Contamination
Ministry Urges Inspection of Harmful "Red Eggs"
SiteMap | About Us | RSS | Newsletter | Feedback
Copyright © China.org.cn. All Rights Reserved     E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-88828000 京ICP证 040089号