Labels for food imports on agenda

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 June, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 June, 2004, 12:00am

Hong Kong and mainland officials are to discuss how to label food products to help consumers understand the difference between mainland-made items for export and those for domestic consumption on sale illegally, the health minister says.

Yeoh Eng-kiong also said the government would test more food products, and perform tests more often, given the recent scares over unsafe and substandard food products imported from the mainland.

The secretary for health, welfare and food said: 'We are obviously looking at any food imports. Our colleagues from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department will be meeting authorities from Beijing and local authorities, particularly from Guangdong province which provides a lot of food to Hong Kong, to better understand their [food] standards for local consumption and for exports.

'We need to understand whether there is a better way of identifying the products which are meant for consumption on the mainland and foods meant for export.'

The health chief said there were differences between mainland and Hong Kong food regulations.

Recent tests on peanuts, preserved vegetables, sauce and herbal turtle jelly from the mainland showed they contained excessive additives and preservatives.