Beijing yesterday reaffirmed the safety of food at the Olympic Games after media reports that the US
contingent plans to prepare its own meals at the Games due to
"We've made great efforts to ensure safe supplies for the Games
and we hope athletes dine together," Kang Yi, chief of the food
division of the Games services department, told a press
"If the US delegation is not at these gatherings, I would
personally regret it," she said.
Some foreign media including The New York Times
reported earlier this month that the US Olympic Committee had
arranged with sponsors to ship about 11,000 kg of lean protein to
Beijing for the Games in response to concerns about the potential
impact of veterinary drugs and insecticides on athletes.
But Kang said her division had received no formal notification
from the US regarding the plan.
She also made it clear that according to established
international practice, foreign athletes cannot take their own food
into the Olympic Village.
Tang Yunhua, spokeswoman for the Beijing municipal office for
food safety, also said such worries were unwarranted.
She said the city had spent nearly three years developing an
extensive monitoring and supervision system over the entire supply
chain from breeders to slaughterhouses and distribution trucks.
"We're very confident and capable of offering safe food for the
Games," she said, adding that quality controls adopted by the city
before the Olympics now exceed international standards.
In response to fears that antibiotics and growth stimulants used
by some breeders to boost yields could lead to positive doping
tests, officials said there was no evidence to prove it.
"Globally, there have been no scientific reports that show drug
tests yield positive results after athletes or people eat certain
types of meat," Lu Yong, director of the Beijing municipal food
safety monitoring center, told the press conference.
"China has very strict rules. Forbidden drugs cannot be used in
breeding, so we can guarantee safety," he said.
(China Daily February 22, 2008)