• Fri
  • Dec 26, 2014
  • Updated: 7:16pm

China Food Scandals

A crisis in confidence in China's food industry emerged after melamine was found in domestically produced baby formula in 2008. The scandal sickened 300,000 babies and resulted in six premature deaths. Other stories of fake eggs, diseased pork, recycled oil, mislabelled meat and more have only led to more calls for industry reform.

NewsChina Insider

Don't judge China food safety on international standards, says official

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 July, 2013, 3:30pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 July, 2013, 11:20am

China’s status as a developing country should be taken into account when evaluating the country’s food safety standards, said a senior food safety official.

“If we were to take European Union air quality standards and apply them to Beijing, we would fail every day,” Wang Zhutian, assistant to the director at the National Centre for Food Safety Risk Assessment, told China National Radio on Wednesday.

Wang stressed China was “still developing” and thus needed to base its own food safety standards on “national conditions” rather than blindly following international ones.

He said the country needed to use its own risk assessment methods to establish its own food safety standards because this would be good for the entire food industry.

“I’m not saying we should ignore the standards of developed countries. We can still learn from their advanced assessment methods … and use them as indicators,” he said.

China has been hit by a succession of food problems in the last year – a lengthy list that includes cadmium-tainted rice, copper-sulfate tainted preserved duck eggs, fake mutton made from rat meat, pesticide-laced ginger and recycled cooking oil.

A string of “food forgeries” including eggs, beef, tofu and honey have also made news headlines in recent months.

National food safety standards fell under increasing scrutiny in 2008, after melamine-tainted milk powder affected an estimated 300,000 people - including 50,000 babies, six of whom were eventually killed.

Meanwhile, the National Health and Family Planning Commission on Wednesday announced at a regular news conference that the government was looking to strengthen standards concerning food contaminants, fungal toxins, food additives and food labels.

The overhaul is part of a five-year plan to upgrade the country’s notorious food safety regulations.

According to the plans, first released in June last year, the government will improve national food safety standards by "revamping outdated standards, reviewing and abolishing any contradicting or overlapping standards and working out new regulation", state news agency Xinhua reported on Wednesday.



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Isn't Beijing failing its own air quality standards every day, regardless?
It's not the standards - it's the enforcement, stupid!
Chinese officials devote more efforts to rationalizations than to actually improving the situation.
Actually KwunTongBypass the issue at least relative to air pollution is actually bigger than either standards or enforcement. What is needed is realism. Chinese sulfur removal equipment cost are about RMB 100 per Kw versus USD 500 in the west. They get prices down that low by doing a very cheap job. Cheap materials, copy engineering, low performance. So if somehow China was to improve their enforcement they would find that they would achieve a relatively low limited amount of sulfur removal for a period of months and then no removal sometime after that time. There are lots of people in China that must know this and are not doing anything to change this as these practices continue to be the norm for new power plant in 2013 as has been the case since shortly after the sulfur removal program started in 2002. The problem is not standard, but the problem is a lot bigger than enforcement. The record of non-democratic regimes (i.e. ex Soviet bloc) is quite poor. China seems to be following this pattern.
Never mind thee Chinese (ans foreigners living here). We only deserve second-class air and food. Never mind the consequences. What a lousy comment!
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