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Safety drive aimed at curbing inferior food
By Liu Weifeng (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-05-25 00:41

Owing to a recent liquor poisoning case which claimed 11 lives, South China's Guangdong Province has kicked off a seven-month food safety campaign to collect fake and inferior products.

Nine categories of daily necessities -- dairy products, liquor, beverages, cooking oils, meat, vegetables, fruit, soy bean products, and aquatic products -- are on the list to be closely inspected.

Officials from the provincial industrial and commercial, health, quality inspection and quarantine authorities have teamed up in promising to put an end to the serious impacts questionable products in these areas have caused.

"Each sector including production, manufacturing, wholesale and retail will be put under strict scrutiny before the product flows to consumers," said Lu Chengxian, director of the Guangdong Provincial Administration for Industry and Commerce.

Using toxic condiments, rotten meat, dairy products with low protein content and over-using edible additives are the most common problems associated with these questionable goods.

The campaign will have an "obvious" impact by the end of 2004, according to Lu.

Fifty disqualified milk powder brands were exposed after a recent marketing spot-check in 23,476 urban and rural wholesale and retailing markets by 14,600 supervisors from the Guangdong Provincial Health Department.

Those products were mainly from four major producers from Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, and Shantou and Shenzhen in Guangdong.

Guangzhou, the provincial capital city, is also currently building a safe food network, which will be completed by 2006.

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