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Beijing food, drug safety drive 'complete success'
By Zhu Zhe (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-01-17 08:32


Authorities in Beijing Wednesday declared the city's four-month campaign against unsafe food and drugs a "complete success".

The campaign, which was part of a nationwide drive launched in August, resulted in 120 tons of substandard food products being either destroyed or removed from shelves, Vice-Mayor Lu Hao told a work conference that was broadcast live on the central government website Wednesday.

Other achievements included:

The confiscation of 7,335 kg of illegally produced salt products and 2,115 kg of meat products that had not gone through proper quarantine checks.

The destruction of 5,860 tons of fake or highly poisonous pesticides.

The investigation of 18,000 cases involving the illegal sale of food products.

The revocation of 15 food exporters' licenses and destruction of 4,000 kg of unsafe imported aquatic products.

The removal from shelves of 309 kinds of drugs, and orders issued to 165 producers of drugs and medical devices to make corrections, 60 of which had their licenses revoked.

Lu said the safety of food and drugs in the city has been greatly improved following the four-month effort.

"But we must not rest on our laurels," he said.

"We should continue the battle as part of our efforts to welcome the Olympic Games".

On Monday, Pu Changcheng, deputy head of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), told reporters from home and abroad that the Beijing Olympics would have safe food.

A number of foreign media reports have alleged that China's food safety and air quality prompted 20 countries, including Britain, France, Germany and the United States, to base their training camps in Japan instead of China this summer.

In response, Pu said such worries were "totally unnecessary".

"We're 100-percent confident about and more than capable of providing safe food for the Games," he told a State Council Information Office press conference.

Pu said all food products supplied for the Olympics will be made by accredited companies that have passed stringent scientific and market tests. All such products will also carry a safe quality label.

As for the broader national campaign, AQSIQ head Li Changjiang Wednesday said it was also a success.

"All the rectification objectives were achieved according to schedule."

But Vice-Premier Wu Yi has said the picture is not all rosy.

She said a large number of small food plants in the countryside often fly under the radar and it is still too easy for producers to break the law.

"There is still the problem of it costing more to uphold the law than to break it," she said.

Wu said it was also possible to see a rebound, as China's regulatory system and industry were still underdeveloped.

"But we shouldn't worry about repeated quality problems," she said. "The key is to stop it happening and to remain on our guard."

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