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China Issues Special Regulations to Ensure Food Safety

On July 26, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao signed the Order of the State Council No. 503 to promulgate the Special Regulations on Strengthening the Supervision and Administration of the Safety of Foods and Other Products. The special regulations went into force on the same day. On the next day, Xinhua News Agency was authorized to publish the complete text of the document.

The special regulations consist of 20 articles. Their purpose is to strengthen the supervision and administration of the safety of foods and other products, clarify the responsibilities of producers and dealers, supervisory and administrative agencies and local governments, enhance the coordination and collaboration of the supervisory and administrative agencies and ensure consumers' health and safety.

The special regulations prescribe that the term "product" used in the document refer not only to foods but also to edible agricultural products, drugs and other products that bear on consumers' health and safety. Whereas the supervision and administration of product safety are exercised according to the provisions of laws, the special regulations shall be applied to cases where no provisions or only inexplicit provisions are made in laws.

According to the special regulations, producers and dealers will be responsible for the safety of the products they produce and sell and cannot produce or sell products that fail to meet legal standards. The raw materials, supplementary materials, additives and agricultural products that producers use in their production must comply with the standards enshrined in law, administrative regulations and national mandatory standards. Sellers must put in place a pre-purchase inspection system, examine the qualifications of suppliers and check quality certificates and the labels of the goods.


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