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Risk management essential for food safety: report
Updated: 2009-03-03 00:12

BEIJING -- China should strengthen risk management to ensure food safety, according to a blue paper issued here Monday by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The country's risk management system focuses on evaluating biological, chemical and physical dangers that may exist in food and food additives.

In last year's milk scandal, melamine-tainted baby milk powder produced by Sanlu was found to have caused the deaths of at least six children and sickened some 300,000 children.

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According to the paper, the results of risk assessing should be an important scientific basis for monitoring food safety practices and making and improving food safety standards.

China's top legislature approved the Food Safety Law on February 28, providing a legal basis for the government to strengthen food safety control "from the production line to the dining table."

The law, which goes into effect on June 1, 2009, will enhance monitoring and supervision, toughen safety standards, recall substandard products and severely punish offenders.

Earlier reports said China's Health Ministry would mainly handle food safety monitoring, evaluation and investigation of food safety emergencies. It would also be responsible for the general coordination of departments and promotion of local health authority reform.