Some skeptical of China's new food safety law

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By Calum MacLeod, USA TODAY

BEIJING Following recent tainted milk and pet food scandals that damaged the "Made in China" brand worldwide, some Chinese experts and consumers are worried that the country's first food safety law may not be enough to prevent a repeat.

The new law, which China's legislature passed Saturday, toughens penalties against makers of tainted food. It also establishes a Cabinet-level food safety commission to improve monitoring, beef up safety standards, and recall substandard products.

Wu Yongning, deputy director of China's National Institute of Nutrition and Food Safety, said the new law is a lost opportunity to create a single, powerful body akin to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to handle food safety.

Wu counts 13 Chinese government departments with a hand in food safety. He said at least five will remain heavily involved under the new law.

"There has been no fundamental reform of the system that many people in the industry hoped for," Wu said



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