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Food, Health, Quarantine Annual Meeting Held in HK
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Hong Kong is seeking further cooperation with Macao and Guangdong Province of the Chinese mainland in health, animal and plant quarantine and food safety.

A Health, Animal and Plant Quarantine and Food Safety Control Meeting opened in Hong Kong Thursday to discuss the cooperation, with the attendance of Hong Kong, Macao, Guangdong and two of Guangdong's cities Shenzhen and Zhuhai.

Speaking at the opening of the meeting, the Hong Kong Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food York Chow, noted that atypical pneumonia, avian influenza and malachite green incidents underlined the importance of gate-keeping work of health, inspection and quarantine as well as food safety.

Chow said Guangdong, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Macao and Hong Kong were close neighbors with heavy volume of passenger and freight flow between these places. With further development in regional economic co-operation, the Mainland, Macao and Hong Kong had to further strengthen cooperation on this front.

He added that sound foundation had been laid in co-operation in health, and inspection and quarantine of the Mainland, Hong Kong and Macao in the past few years. In-depth exchange and co-operation were realized in the prevention of avian influenza, refinement of food safety regulatory regime and port health incidents.

Chow expected that through exchange among experts, the technical standard of health, animal and plant quarantine and food safety could be raised to facilitate the implementation of health and food safety regulatory measures and further refinement of existing co-operation mechanism and information exchange.

"To ensure the safety of Mainland food for supply to Hong Kong, we have to exert our best efforts to perform gate-keeping work by control at source and stringent inspection and quarantine before export," he said.

Topics of discussion in the two-day meeting included inspection and quarantine on health, fruits and vegetables, aquatic products, plants, animal and food livestock as well as the management of food safety of poultry eggs, laboratory standard and technicality.

(Xinhua News Agency June 22, 2007)

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