Beijing conceded yesterday there was little cause to be optimistic about product safety as the Food and Drug Administration rolled out a belated 11th five-year plan containing many pledges to improve supervision amid intense international pressure. Administration spokeswoman Yan Jiangying said: 'As a developing country, China's food and drug supervision began relatively late and the infrastructure remains comparatively weak. 'Therefore, we cannot be optimistic about the food and drug safety situation we are facing.' Beijing released the plan on the same morning that former administration chief Zheng Xiaoyu was executed. The plan contains many targets to improve safety, such as setting up separate supervisory bodies. Ms Yan said Beijing intended to establish a means of alerting the public to food scares or other crises by stepping up communication with four other departments. But she denied that the plan was a response to rising international pressure over mainland food safety, claiming the drafting process began in 2004. The mainland has been embarrassed by food and drug scares and has pledged to take measures to ensure safety. Ms Yan said the food and drug agency would soon announce measures to increase the transparency of drug approval procedures, to stamp out licensing corruption. She said the agency's website would post the names of officials who approved drugs, and key officials would have to change jobs regularly. Ms Yan was confident the new measures would root out corruption in the drug licensing process. Xinhua reported yesterday that 14 companies had been blacklisted for planning to export substandard foods and been banned from exporting, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine website said. 'They will be banned from exporting food,' said Lin Wei , who is in charge of food exports at the quarantine agency. The substandard products are preserved seafood and fruit destined for Japan, Canada, the United States and the European Union. Some contained excessive levels of additives, such as sulfur dioxide, and others were contaminated by harmful bacteria. Meanwhile, Wu Jianping, director of the quarantine agency's production supervision department, yesterday said the government would investigate reports that the sale of fake bottled water was widespread in Beijing.