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Health Ministry to be upgraded 
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China's State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) will be put under the Ministry of Health (MOH) as part of the cabinet restructuring reform to better monitor the country's food and drug safety.

The reform plan was announced by State Councilor Hua Jianmin in Beijing on Tuesday, also secretary general of the cabinet, to the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature.

The new MOH will be authorized to coordinate food safety management, organize investigations into serious food safety accidents and give due punishment, Hua said.

He said the MOH is also responsible for the constitution of the national food safety standards, the pharmaceutical code and a basic state pharmaceutical system.

The SFDA, after the reform, is responsible for food sanitation permit and monitoring of food and eatery businesses. The administration shall also monitor drug safety, including the process of research, production, circulation and use.

(Xinhua March 12, 2008)

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