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China to issue new baby formula regulation

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-03-04 16:06

BEIJING -- In a bid to guarantee food safety, China will issue a specific regulation on baby formula in the near future, an official said Monday.

Zhou Bohua, director of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, told Xinhua that the new regulation will target the entire chain, from production to circulation in the market.

A slew of stricter supervisory measures will be adopted to handle the improper conduct of breeders, milk powder producers and salespeople, ensuring people's access to safe milk powder products, according to Zhou.

Zhou admitted that a lack of administration and supervision over the dairy industry is to blame for past food safety incidents.

Zhou also mentioned the Sanlu scandal in 2008, in which six babies died and 3,000 others were sickened after consuming the company's melamine-tainted milk powder products.

As for the recent controversy over Hong Kong's regulation prohibiting mainland consumers from taking more than 1.8 kg of baby powder purchased in Hong Kong back to the mainland, which went into effect on March 1, Zhou said, "We should not be astonished."

"Encouraging the mainland dairy industry is the fundamental solution to the problem," Zhou said, adding that the regulation in Hong Kong should be supported and observed.

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