Food safety officials have called for more stringent inspections
and testing of exports following several scares involving Chinese
Li Changjiang, minister of the General Administration of Quality
Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, urged local inspectors to
shoulder the "political responsibility" of ensuring the safety of
"Food safety is not only related to people's health, but also
the country's image as well as bilateral and multilateral political
relations," he said during a recent inspection tour in Shenzhen,
In one incident that drew international attention, the
administration announced last month that two Chinese companies
exported melamine-contaminated wheat gluten and rice protein which
was used in pet food blamed for the deaths of dogs and cats in the
The watchdog said the two companies managed to evade quality
check-ups by labeling them as exports that are not subject to
Wei Chuanzhong, the administration's deputy head, also expressed
concern about food exports and pledged to address the issue.
"This has put us on a high alert and led us to look closely into
the reasons behind the problems."
Both Li and Wei called for better law enforcement, and warned
violators that they face the full force of the law.
In another move to strengthen food safety, the government
yesterday made public guidelines on food and drug safety.
One of them is that major food exporters should have their own
raw material production bases, where vegetables and poultry are
raised according to internationally recognized standards.
Bi Kexin, a senior official with the administration's import and
export food safety bureau, said a blacklist of enterprises that
produce poor animal food has been posted on its official website,
and it is updated constantly.
(China Daily June 7, 2007)