BEIJING - China's industry and commerce authorities will intensify their crackdown on the illegal addition of non-edible materials to food and will tighten supervision of the use of food additives, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce said on Wednesday.
The administration urged local commerce authorities to make greater efforts in investigating and handling cases involving the abuse of food additives and the addition of non-edible materials to food, according to a statement posted on the administration's website.
The administration said local authorities should also make sure that food contaminated with illegal additives is completely removed from shelves.
According to figures released by the food safety committee under the State Council, China's cabinet, over the past nine years China has blacklisted 151 materials forbidden in food or which have been improperly used in food for human consumption and livestock feed.
The list includes 47 inedible materials that may be added illegally to food for human consumption, 22 food additives that are easily abused, and 82 substances forbidden in feed and drinking water for animals.
Retailers that deliberately sell food contaminated with illegal additives will receive severe punishments. Their licenses will be revoked and their illegal earnings will be confiscated. They should also compensate for any damages caused, the statement added.