China / Hot Issues

Opinions solicited on food safety law

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-07-02 19:21

BEIJING - China's top legislature on Wednesday began soliciting public opinions on a draft revision to the Food Safety Law that imposes harsher penalties on offenders.

The bill was tabled for its first reading last week at a bi-monthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), the country's top legislature.

The food safety situation remains severe, said Zhang Yong, head of the food and drug administration, when briefing lawmakers on the draft last week. He said the existing system is not effective, penalties are comparatively light and not enough to deter offenders.

According to the revision, consumers can demand reparation worth three times the loss they suffer from substandard food. Current law only allows compensation of 10 times the price of the food.

Meanwhile, producers will face fines of up to 30 times the value of their products, up from 10 times under the current law. If the products are worth less than 10,000 yuan ($1,600), those involved can be fined a maximum of 150,000 yuan, up from 50,000 yuan currently.

Officials who fail to respond to food safety emergencies will receive administrative penalties, such as demotion and dismissal, and those caught abusing their power and neglecting their duty for personal gain will face criminal penalties, the draft said.

The general office of the NPC Standing Committee has publicized the draft revision at, and opinions can be submitted via the website or mailed to the NPC Standing Committee's Commission of Legislative Affairs.

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