A central taskforce has been set up to tackle the rising price of pork and other foods, Xinhua said yesterday, as the country's top planning agency warned that prices kept rising in June due to supply shortages. The taskforce comprises officials from seven central ministries, including the powerful National Development and Reform Commission and the ministries of commerce, finance and agriculture. 'It will meet every week to review the market situation, analyse the problem and come up with measures,' Xinhua said. It did not say who headed the body nor to whom it would report, but said it was under the control of the State Council, the mainland's cabinet. Premier Wen Jiabao recently warned of the danger of rising food prices on the mainland, saying further rises could spark unrest, urging officials 'not to lower their guard' on the issue. In late May, the State Council ordered regional governments to work out measures to curb price increases, strengthen market regulation, compensate pig farmers and make the transport of pigs a priority. A spike in pork and egg prices helped push the consumer price index up 3.4 per cent year on year in May, the highest inflation rate in 27 months. Food prices, which make up a third of CPI, rose 8.3 per cent year on year in May. Meat prices make up about 7 per cent of the index. The price of fresh boneless pork rose 12.3 per cent last month to 19.56 yuan per kilogram, the NDRC said in a survey this week. The survey, covering 46 major goods and services in 36 cities, also showed that other food prices continued to rise, although vegetables became cheaper due to increased supply. An outbreak of blue ear disease and the rising cost of grain for feed have discouraged farmers from breeding more pigs. The Ministry of Commerce had previously reported that the retail price of pork fell by an average of 2.3 per cent in 32 major cities at the end of June. 'It is hard to ease the supplies shortage in the short term, so pork prices continue to rise significantly,' the NDRC said. Pork prices in many cities had risen to record levels in recent days, Xinhua said. In Guangzhou, the wholesale price of live pigs was a record 16 yuan per kilogram yesterday, up two yuan in a week, the China Daily said. Pork prices also rose in Beijing, Shanghai and other main cities. Meanwhile, in a circular jointly issued by five central agencies, including the ministries of commerce, public security and health, the government called for increased efforts to guarantee the safety of pork after reports that the illegal slaughter of sick pigs was becoming widespread. The practice of injecting water into pork before it was sent to market, in order to cheat the scales, was also addressed.