Beijing Olympics organizers yesterday unveiled meticulous plans to assure
athletes of healthy food and sound air quality during the Games.
The pledges came two days before the city marks the one-year countdown to the
opening of the 2008 Summer Games.
"Our country and the Beijing municipal
government are taking the food safety issue very seriously, especially for the
Olympics," Wang Wei, an executive vice president of the Beijing organizing
committee, told a press conference.
"Actually, Beijing has hosted a lot of big events and there have been no
problems regarding food safety in these events."
Food to be delivered to athletes will be closely monitored throughout the
process of production, processing and transport.
State-of-the-art technologies such as global positioning satellite system
will be used to help track food during the production and distribution process,
according organizing committee action guidelines.
Other measures include:
Staying vigilant on food safety and enhancing information collection;
Improving market entry system for food suppliers;
Strengthening food safety monitoring and supervising systems;
All food entering the Olympic Village will carry a logistics code so to
Wang said measures will also be taken to ensure food safety for the general
public, who will be informed of how to buy safe food.
The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine
yesterday announced similar measures to make sure food products for the Games
were safe to consume.
Also at the press conference, the organizing committee spelled out
contingency plans for improving air quality during the Games.
"Air quality is not only a matter for Beijing's image, but also a matter
concerning the health of athletes and the general public," Wang said.
"In order to secure clean air during the Games, we will unveil some
contingency plans and some of them will be rehearsed during the upcoming test
In order to test the venues and organizing systems, Beijing will trial more
than 40 test events before the opening of the Games. Some media reported last
month that Beijing would haul vehicles off the city's roads for two weeks in
August to rehearse traffic control measures for the Beijing Olympics.
However, Wang said the specific plan is still under discussion and will be
released at an appropriate time.
Last November, Beijing imposed a six-day ban on at least 490,000 government
vehicles and advised private drivers to take buses to make way for a summit
meeting of Chinese and African leaders.
Traffic was surprisingly smooth even in the busiest areas during the week and
the air quality evaluated was much better.
"If we want to get cars off the roads, we want people to do it willingly,"
"It is not only for the traffic conditions, but also for the improving the
air quality. We want to know the effects of those measures.
"During the test events, we will also establish some monitoring stations
around the venues to supervise air quality."
Acknowledging some public concern about the Games, BOCOG said it welcomed
media reports that were objective, fair and comprehensive, but opposed the
"politicization of the Olympics".
"We welcome constructive criticism on our faults and defects, but we
resolutely oppose the politicization of Olympic affairs, for this is not in
accordance with the Olympic spirit and Olympic charter," Jiang Xiaoyu, also a
BOCOG executive vice president, said.
The officials also played down the public and media's high expectations of
China's athletes at the Games.
"As stated by our sports officials, China's sports strength is still in the
second tier of the medal tally," Wang said.
"The unexpected is what makes the Olympics so appealing and exciting. We want
to offer a fair stage for athletes from all over to perform well."