The proposed Food Safety Bill in Hong Kong will boost food
control without imposing a huge burden on the trade, Hong Kong
Secretary for Food and Health York Chow said here Tuesday.
The bill will be tabled to lawmakers in the 2008-09 legislative
session in Hong Kong.
Speaking at Legislative Council Panel on Food Safety and
Environmental Hygiene, Chow said given that 95 percent of the food
Hong Kong people consume is imported from overseas, the city must
strengthen its import-control measures to ensure a safe food
After reviewing the food safety law and researching overseas
legislation and regulatory regimes on food safety, the bureau
proposes to formulate a new bill adopting an incremental and risk-
based approach in expanding Hong Kong's import control, initially
over food with high potential health risk. The control measures may
be extended to other food types when the risk level of the food
concerned has changed.
Chow said the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR)
government has balanced the need for tighter control and the trade
's concerns about over-regulation which will result in higher
compliance costs and hence higher food prices and reduction in food
Noting the new law will boost people's confidence in the food
trade, Chow said this will be conducive to the business environment
and long-term development.
Under the proposal, live fish, live amphibians and ice, which is
commonly incorporated into food or drink, will also be covered.
A mandatory registration system for food importers and
distributors will be formed to bolster the HKSAR government's
ability to trace problem food. The requirement equally applies to
food coming from overseas or locally produced.
The registration for food importers and distributors will be for
three years, subject to renewal.
(Xinhua News Agency December 12, 2007)