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Beijing to tighten inspect on vegetables
( 2003-09-04 09:52) (China Daily)

Beijing Municipal Bureau of Health Director Jin Dapeng yesterday vowed to enhance certification work over agricultural products, especially so-called pesticide-free vegetables, to ensure the health of residents.

"Overuse of pesticides still exists in planting agricultural products," Jin told the Standing Committee of the Beijing Municipal People's Congress at a conference yesterday.

China Central Television reported in late August that some "pesticide-free" vegetables planted in Zhangjiakou of North China's Hebei Province have been sprayed severe poisonous pesticide and those vegetables were sent to over 20 cities around the country, including Beijing.

Although examination after that showed that vegetables from Zhangjiakou on the Beijing market are up to national standards pertaining to agricultural chemical residue, some local residents are still worrying about the safety of produce in the city.

Jin in turn vowed that a food safety emergency treatment system will be established to put any possible danger under control.

Multi-department food safety pre-warning and information release systems will also be set up in the near future.

The current food pesticide supervising system will be upgraded to make governments have a good command of the condition of produce and uncover any new food security problem in time, according to Jin.

It is predicted that by 2007, all of the agricultural products from Beijing's suburbs will be pesticide-free.

The unqualified rate on chemical residue in vegetables sold on the Beijing market has dropped from 8.7 per cent to 7.6 per cent during that period since early 2002, compared with figures from 2001, according to Jin.

Inspections carried by the BMPC Standing Committee over food safety from May to August showed that measures still need to be strengthened to ensure the quality of vegetables grown in other areas and sold on the Beijing market, accounting for 70 per cent of the market share.

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