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Premier: Gov't responsible in tainted milk incident
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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said his government is partly responsible for the tainted milk incident, particularly concerning industry regulation.

"We feel that though the incident occurred in enterprises, the government is also responsible, " Wen said in an interview with Bruce Alberts, editor-in-chief of the Science Magazine of the United States on Sept. 30.

In the exclusive interview at the Zhongnanhai leadership compound,Alberts said the Chinese government's response to the tainted milk incident was "very impressive".

Wen said his government will handle the incident seriously and make sure lessons are learnt from it.

The government shall also strengthen legislation so as every phase of food production, from the farm to the dinner table, is put under strict supervising according to the law, said the Premier.

He also said the government will look into and draw up a plan for the revival of China's food industry.

Wen said important steps in making milk products--production of raw milk, collection, transportation, processing and making formula--all should have clear standards and testing requirements and corresponding responsibilities, including legal responsibilities.

"I once again solemnly emphasize that it is absolutely impermissible to sacrifice people's lives and health in exchange for temporary economic development," Wen said.

The Chinese Premier said he believes that his government will be able to lead the people through the difficulties caused by the tainted milk incident and bring a major improvement to the food industry.

(Xinhua News Agency October 18, 2008)

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