China / Society

Branch established for food safety risk communication

By Shan Juan ( Updated: 2014-04-21 21:27

An expert committee under the State Council's Food Safety Committee has been set up to better guide decision-making for food safety improvement, said Chen Junshi, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering at the China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment.

He made his remarks on Monday at an international seminar held by the China Food and Drug Administration and the Chinese Institute of Food Science and Technology. The committee comprises 51 experts.

Additionally, "a branch specialized in food safety risk communication with the public has been formed as well under the expert committee," Chen said. He added that it is very important to deliver the right message on food safety to the public.

Decision makers, as shown by the establishment of the communications branch, have begun to recognize the significance of helping the public form a rational perception of food safety issues, Chen said.

"Zero-risk situation never exists in food safety, and issues on that are different from food frauds like adulteration," he noted.

Teng Jiacai, vice-minister of the China Food and Drug Administration, said: "China is at the stage of social and economic transformation. Food safety problems are very likely, given the sheer size of the population, huge food production and consumption, and limited capacity in food safety and quality control."

Patrick Wall, former director of the EU food safety bureau, agreed and suggested that more efforts should be made to reduce food safety risks.

"Timely and proper risk communication, therefore, matters a lot," Wall said.

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