All athletes will be prohibited from taking their own food into
the Beijing Olympic Games Village in order to
ensure food safety, Olympic officials said on Thursday.
Outlining food safety rules for the Games, Kang Yi, catering
chief of the Beijing Olympics organizing committee, said the rule
complied with standard international practice.
"Foods are banned mainly out of safety concerns, and beverages
are not allowed in the Olympic Village to protect sponsors'
rights," she said.
Xiang Ping, deputy director of the games services department,
said: "Athletes were not allowed to bring their own prepared food
to the athletes village at past Games, but medicines are
complicated and will be treated differently.
"Athletes who have long taken certain kinds of medicines should
first report the medicines via the designated personnel of their
respective countries and then might be able to take the medicines
to Beijing," said Xiang.
The comments were made in response to questions at a press
conference about reports that the U.S. delegation would set up a
training camp outside the Olympic Games Village where the athletes
could prepare their own food.
"We have made thorough preparations for the Games, hoping that
all the athletes could dine and be happy together during the
Beijing Olympic Games. I will be very sorry if the American
delegation are not at these gatherings," said Kang, who said that
her section had not received any formal notice informing him about
the American delegation's plan.
Xiang said that she had received no formal notification of the
plan either and added that it was unnecessary for foreign teams to
bring their own food.
"There is no need to bring prepared food on the part of athletes
as there is a great variety of food to meet everybody's needs at
the athletes' village," said Xiang.
Tang Yunhua, spokeswoman of the Municipal Office for Food
Safety, said standards for the Games were stringent, sometimes even
higher than standard international practices.
"Beijing has worked out careful plans concerning the guarantee
of food safety during the Olympic Games," she said .
"Beijing has established a comprehensive food safety control
mechanism that covers the whole process from production to the
table so we can make sure Olympic food is entirely safe," she
"We have been doing our utmost to take the customs and tastes of
all competing athletes into consideration in supply of raw
materials," said Tang.
"The city authority has also worked out strict measures to
guarantee food safety," said Tang.
"Delegations from all countries should feel at ease eating the
food we serve at the Olympic Village," said Tang.
Lu Yong, director of the Beijing Municipal Food Safety
Monitoring Center, dispelled fears concerning drug-tainted meat
supplies. Fears had been expressed that antibiotics and growth
stimulants used by breeders to boost yields could cause positive
doping tests among athletes.
There was no evidence that was the case, according to Lu.
"At present, globally, there have been no scientific reports
that show drug tests will yield positive results after athletes or
people eat certain types of meat," said Lu, emphasizing "China has
very strict rules. Forbidden drugs cannot be used in breeding, so
we can guarantee safety."
(Xinhua News Agency February 21, 2008)