China's food quality and safety has been much improved as the
country completes the establishment of market access systems for
By the end of the year China will have completed the market
access systems for a total of 525 types of food products in 28
categories, according to the annual conference of the General
Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine
The establishment of the systems started in 2002 with five
categories -- grain, salt, sauce, vinegar and edible oil. It was
followed by 10 further categories consisting mainly of meat and
dairy products and 13 of tea, wine and egg products.
To date more than 80,000 food enterprises have acquired market
access permit certificates. Next year the administration will set
up access systems for cosmetics and food-related products such as
packaging and cooking utensils.
With the completion of the systems the quality of food products
in China has been improved and the food processing industries
The administration cancels the production qualifications of
between 10 and 20 enterprises every month for various quality
In another development an archive record system for additives
used by food processing enterprises will be come into effect early
next year. "Enterprises will have to make it public what additives
they are using and what they are not," according to Wu Jianping,
director of food production and supervision of the administration.
"The archives will upgrade food production safety from the source,"
This year China has been confronted with food safety problems
especially in relation to poisonous additives. Recent cases include
carcinogenic mandarin and turbot fish and ducks and hens fed
cancer-causing Sudan Red dye to make their egg yolks red.
"Another importance of the archives system is that it will allow
to differentiate between guilty and innocent food producers," Wu
said. "Such a record system will at least help the innocent."
Food safety supervision is especially difficult in the Chinese
mainland because there are more than 350,000 small food processing
outlets with less than 10 staff. With antiquated facilities and
poorly educated staff the outlets usually fail to reach the
required quality standards and have supervision difficulties.
In northern Shaanxi Province local governments have sent
food quality supervision officials to patrol streets in the urban
and rural areas. "Only through regionalizing and strengthening
supervision responsibilities can we solve these issues," Wu
China has also made remarkable achievements in improving the
quality of food products for export. Statistics show that Chinese
enterprises made a 20 percent increase year-on-year in food exports
at the end of last month.
(China Daily December 19, 2006)