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More scandals, tougher policies ahead: food safety chief

2013-06-18 15:00 CNTV Web Editor: yaolan

China's consumer confidence has been severely challenged by a succession of food safety scandals. Amid the concerns and complaints, the government is holding a national "Food Safety Week". Monday is the first day of the special week, and food safety officials have sent out some mixed messages that are both encouraging and alarming.

The Chinese love of food is legendary.

But in recent years, many have been wondering whether what they eat will kill them.

Street vendors barbecuing rat meat, restaurants using recycled cooking oil, and big food companies using toxic additives.

Some netizens complain that they've tasted nearly the entire periodic table of elements: melamine-tainted milk, clembuterol in pork, and more...

"We must make food safety the top profit-winning factor of every food corporation. We will raise their cost of breaking the laws and invite more public scrutiny," said Zhang Yong, Director of China Food and Drug Administration.

That's the word from China's food safety chief Zhang Yong. He gave a key note speech at the opening of the national "Food Safety Week" in Beijing on Monday.

Officials are using the event to raise public awareness of food safety issues. They are determined to crack down on food-related crimes.

It's an on-going battle. Inspection of production and sales have been tightened, factories closed down for failing to meet the standards and the suspects of several high-profile cases brought to justice.

"China is toughening its supervision on food safety, but more problems and scandals are still expected to arise in the near future, because it takes time to see the results of all the policies," Zhang Yong said.

An online survey shows that food safety is now the top concern of China's urban residents. The government is counting on better oversight and public participation to change that. Because when it comes to eating, it should be about taste, not safety.


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