Tuesday, October 16, 2018
 China Launches Yet Another Food Safety Crack Down  

By Rory Harrington

Companies and individuals “face harsh punishment” – including a raft financial penalties - if found to be adding illegal non-edible materials to food, said China.

Beijing last week announced an “intensified crackdown” on the illegal factories that produce such materials, as well as the executives who oversee their manufacture in a bid to stem the growing tide of contamination scandals in recent months.

The latest crackdown by the Government declared that illicit drugs or any other materials that jeopardize human health are banned in the growing, cultivation, processing, and transportation of agricultural products.

Any enterprise or individual who violates the regulations will face harsh punishments, according to the government circular, reported state media.

“Enterprises that intentionally add non-edible materials to food products will face revocation of licenses, confiscation of all illicit earnings, and they will be made to pay compensation for damages caused”, said Xinhua.

More Contamination Incidents
Nitrite-contaminated milk, tainted buns and meat laced with illegal additives are just some of the recent scares that have made global headlines and served once again to underline the uncertain state of Chinese food safety regulation.

Over the weekend, almost 300 people were reported as falling ill in the central region of Hunan after eating tainted meat. Eight victims remain in hospital. Local reports have blamed clenbuterol - substance that speeds muscle growth in pigs but can cause headache, nausea and an irregular heartbeat in humans - with authorities vowing to investigate the incident.

In Guandong, officials seized 16 tons of pork tainted with sodium borate, the local authorities said. The additive changes the colour of meat so that it resembles high-priced beef. A police raid in the city of Shenyang, also last week, led to the arrest of a dozen people thought to be involved in lacing bean sprouts with sodium nitrite, a toxic substance that speeds up growth.

In 2008, China attracted global attention when milk powder contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine killed at least six and sickened at least 300,000 people. Since then, the Government has enacted a food safety law and trumpeted a number of food safety clamp downs.

Adulteration by processors to boost profit margins, widespread corruption at a local level and even a lack of clarity over what additive are, or are not, legal have all contributed to China’s continuing struggle to make its food supply safe, experts have said.

Source: Food Quality News


Posted on Friday, April 29, 2011 (Archive on Friday, May 06, 2011)
Posted by bsutton@adpi.org  Contributed by bsutton@adpi.org