The Beijing government made public a draft regulation on food
safety Monday, which stipulates that food producers and traders who
refuse to recall questionable food products may face a maximum fine
of 100,000 yuan (US$12,951.7).
The regulation regards producers as first responsible for food
safety, with the obligation to ensure that their products meet
According to the regulation, credit records of producers will be
stored in the city's enterprise credit information system. Food
safety inspection authorities will expose the unqualified producers
and relevant punishments through the media.
Corporative chiefs who are directly responsible for illegal food
production and circulation may be restricted from working in the
food industry for up to five years, and those involved with serious
food safety problems may face a lifetime ban.
The regulation states clearly that producers should recall any
questionable food products immediately and submit a written report
to food safety inspection authorities within 24 hours of
discovering the existing or potential danger with the products.
Those who fail to observe the regulation may be fined between
10,000 and 100,000 yuan (US$1,295.17-12,951.7) with the
substandard food products confiscated and licenses revoked.
The regulation also enforces more severe punishments for actions
threatening food safety. Those who fail to provide information
about suppliers, keep a sale record during an emergency, or inject
water or other illegal substance to products, may be fined 5,000 to
100,000 yuan (US$647.58-12,951.7). Those selling substandard meat,
seafood, or vegetables may be fined 10,000 to 100,000 yuan. Serious
violators may have their production and sanitation licenses
Last year, China witnessed a string of food safety scares
including steroid-tainted pork, tea leaves containing excessive
amounts of lead, and sauce with the carcinogenic dye Sudan Red. The
draft therefore urges a priority on high-risk food products, with a
list of these released to the public.
The inspection authorities will organize experts to collect and
analyze data on food safety, evaluating the risk of additives,
contamination, toxins, and carcinogens. Proper measures will be
adopted according to the evaluation.
(China.org.cn by Huang Shan, April 26, 2007)