Gov't to continue stressing exported food safety

Updated: 2007-06-01 10:59
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The Chinese government will continue to pay great attention to exported food safety, said an official with the country's quality control watchdog on Thursday.

"Over the past two years, 99 percent of food exported to the United States was up to safety standards, which is a very high percentage," said Li Yuanping, senior official in charge of imported and exported food safety in the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (GAQSIQ).

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The official said China has set up a complete monitoring system to ensure safety of exported food.

All plantations and cultivation bases for export purposes are kept record for inspection and quarantine, he said.

Companies exporting food have to meet safety requirements before producing, processing and exporting food and will receive regular inspection during production, Li said.

Food that is up to the standards will also be labeled for track in case of possible problems.

On May 8, the GAQSIQ announced that two Chinese companies exported melamine-contaminated wheat gluten and rice protein blamed for the deaths of dogs and cats in the United States.

The watchdog said the two companies managed to evade quality check-ups by labeling them as exports that are not subject to quality inspection.

It said it had ordered local branches to strengthen quality inspection on all vegetable proteins and pledged to include all vegetable proteins on the exports list subject for quality check-ups.

The local public security authorities had launched an investigation into the cases and had detained related company officials, according to the GAQSIQ.

The administration said it had found no further melamine-contaminated products after checking 399 samples from 173 exporters nationwide.

The watchdog said it had notified the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of the investigation results and proposed to set up a cooperation mechanism on food safety with the United States.

The Chinese government will continue do its best to guarantee food safety for consumers worldwide, Li said.