Opinion / From the Press

Watchdogs should exercise duty well

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-07-22 07:38

A question remains to be answered: Why is it always the media and not the food safety regulators that uncover the illegal activities of food enterprises? The Shanghai Food and Drug Administration required the enterprises involved to remove the harmful food only, and did not order them to close down until the media put heavy pressure on them. The food safety authorities need to perform their duties better because those duties concern our health and lives., July 21

"The regulations are not flexible, but we are." These words of a member of staff who processed the expired meat are more shocking than the scandal itself. Everybody can be a victim without effective supervision over food safety. We expect the supervising departments to address people's concerns with full investigation so that we can be confident what we eat is safe., July 21

When food safety scandals happen, people tend to blame low standards or bad law enforcement, and few notice morality. Actually, the current scandal and some other incidents involving public safety show that China faces a serious moral decline. Morality is especially important in the food industry where information asymmetry exists and consumers have no way of knowing how the food they eat is processed., July 21

Many countries have the practice of regularly sending supervisors to enterprises so that problems are discovered before they become serious. It might be impossible to send a supervisor to each enterprise, but at least one can be sent to big ones, and on rotation to avoid corruption., July 21

This is not the first time that international food chains such as McDonald's and KFC have been embroiled in scandals over expired meat. These big enterprises think they can cheat consumers; this time consumers should teach them a lesson., July 21

Morality might be a luxury for the involved enterprises. By neglecting consumers' safety, the enterprises have failed their most basic duty of obeying the law and they must pay for that.

Li Shuguang, Fudan University professor,, July 21

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