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Goal set for pollution-free farm produce
( 2002-10-15 09:13 ) (8 )

Agricultural products intended for human consumption will be produced using techniques that do not cause pollution or involve poison within five years.

Agriculture Vice-Minister Fan Xiaojian told a three-day Workshop on Agro-food Safety Issues in Beijing that the quality of China's agro-food exports will be substantially improved to catch up with advanced international standards.

China will achieve this goal by enhancing production supervision, strengthening the market access system and improving testing and certification regimes, Fan said.

To trace contamination back to its source in the food chain, the ministry will speed up the construction of a batch of pollution-free agricultural production bases in the nation's farming areas.

Fan told the workshop - sponsored by his ministry, the World Bank and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Specialized Sub-Council of Agriculture - that this would protect products from industrial pollution and urban waste.

Xu Baiwan, director of Inspection Centre for Domestic Animal Products under the ministry, said it would swiftly eliminate highly toxic pesticides, fertilizers, fodder additives and veterinary medicines that seriously threaten food safety.

Farmers should be taught to properly and rationally use farm chemicals.

Fan said the ministry will monitor the agricultural production environment and inspect the use of farming materials to ensure that farm produce for sale reaches national standards and follows procedures.

Agro-food on the market will also be subject to spot tests for toxic materials, including chemical residues. The results will be released to consumers, he said.

A "from farm to dinner-table" quality control project piloted in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Shenzhen since last April has shown initial success, Fan said.



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