Shanghai's first rule regulating the recall of inferior food
will go into effect on August 1, officials from the Shanghai Food
and Drug Administration said yesterday.
It is also the nation's first rule on recall of substandard
The administration will provide training and explanations of the
rule to local food enterprises before August.
"Recalling means the manufacturer or seller reports to the
government and inform customers in time after detecting a product's
harm or potential harm and remove the product from the market and
customers," said Gu Zhenhua, director of SFDA's inspection
When enforcing the recalling rule, the local government will pay
more attention to preventing and controlling a threat to
Currently, the government only imposes a fine and punishment on
an enterprise afterward, officials said.
The rule lists three levels of poor-quality food.
On top of the list is an A-level product, which has resulted in
serious harm or even death or can seriously affect people's health.
Under this level, the manufacturer or seller must report to the
government and fulfill a recalling plan within 24 hours and finish
recalling within 72 hours. Relevant sellers must report to the
government on the process of recalling every 24 hours.
B-level products cause temporary harm or have a slight
possibility to cause serious harm. Enterprises are required to
recall these products within seven days.
C-level products don't cause serious harm. Manufactures only
need to take products back from retailers.
"There are two types of recalling. One is enterprises' voluntary
behavior, another is triggered by a government's order if an
enterprises does not recall voluntarily or their recalling is not
effective," Gu said. "The government still imposes punishment after
recalling. We give lenient punishment if they perform well,
otherwise the punishment will be severe."
Fines are one to five times the value of illegal income. The
value of recalled products are not calculated as illegal
"The companies with serious violations of the rules can have
their licenses withdrawn," he added.
(Shanghai Daily June 9, 2006)