China to set up central food safety body: state media

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BEIJING (AFP) China will set up a central food safety commission to help cut down on the country's repeated scandals involving dangerous food products, state media said on Wednesday.

The commission will come under the auspices of the State Council, or Cabinet, and will be set out under a new food safety law to be put to the annual parliamentary session next month, Xinhua news agency said.

The commission's task would be "to strengthen the country's food monitoring system, whose low efficiency has long been blamed for repeated food scandals," the report said.

China's huge and poorly regulated food industry is regularly hit by scandals involving unsafe foods that harm public health and result in product recalls both at home and abroad.

In one of the biggest, at least six infants died last year and nearly 300,000 were sickened by baby formula tainted by an industrial chemical that had been added to milk supplies to give the appearance of higher protein.

Experts have said a key reason for China's regulatory shortcomings is that too many different agencies have jurisdiction over the food industry.



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