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Olympics food safety discussed
( 2003-10-23 09:28) (China daily)

Foreign and Chinese experts gathered in Beijing yesterday for a three-day symposium on the capital's agricultural development and food security during the 2008 Olympic Games.

Sponsored by the Beijing Association for Science and Technology, the symposium is expected not only to be of short-term benefit for the Olympics but a way to plan more general strategies for promoting agricultural production in Beijing.

Cai Tongyi, a professor at the China Agricultural University, suggested that a project should be started as soon as possible to ensure a safe food supply for the Olympics.

He said the games are due to be held from August 15 to 31, 2008, off-season in autumn when fewer varieties of vegetables are available and also a period when natural disasters occur more frequently.

Full preparations should be made and measures should be planned in advance to deal with any emergencies, he stressed.

The professor and his colleague Chen Fang suggested that such a project should include improvements to the food-safety evaluation system, the setting-up of a food supply base and delivery system, research into and the development of Chinese fast food, and the holding of an exposition on Chinese catering.

"We suggest that a bilingual label showing a food's nutritional structure be attached to every food item, to guide athletes and coaches when they are choosing food during the games," said Cai.

Standards should also be set up requiring every food production and transportation enterprise to pass a quality inspection, he said.

Experts also made suggestions on the production of fruit and vegetables, as well as techniques for applying environmentally friendly pesticides for the Olympics.

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