(ECNS) ? Environmental pollution, especially pollution caused by pesticide chemicals, is the major source threatening China’s food safety, the Economic Information Daily reported Thursday, citing a study released by the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE).
Despite improved food safety levels, bottlenecks remain in China’s food safety management system. China is still exposed to high risks in terms of food safety, and contamination incidents continue to occur frequently, Pang Guofang, a CAE academician and deputy head of the research team, told the newspaper.
According to the researchers, from 2009 to 2013 the quantity of imported food that failed to meet quality standards was on the rise year by year. From 2002 to 2012, Europe’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed reported 3,706 Chinese food safety cases, and for five consecutive years China had ranked first place among the 144 countries and regions monitored by Europe.
A survey in 2014 showed that Chinese consumers paid great attention to food safety, but only 13 percent were satisfied with the food safety situation.
Pang said pollution caused by microorganisms is the major reason for food poisoning and related deaths, followed by pesticides and veterinary drugs for food contamination.
Heavy metals ? mainly cadmium, arsenic, lead and mercury ? and fungal toxins pose long-term potential risks to food safety and security, according to Pang.
He also said that illegal use of additives, adulteration and cheating remain prominent problems.