March 09, 2009 13:52 PM


China's Food Safety Comes Vice-Premier: State Media

Source of Article:

By Tham Choy Lin

BEIJING, March 9 (Bernama) - China's battered food safety will come under the eye of the top leadership under a vice-premier, state media reported Monday.

Health Minister Chen Zhu told China Daily that a State Council leader will head the food safety commission to be formed under the new food safety law to be enforced from June 1.

"The announcement confirms media speculation that a vice premier in charge of health work will lead the commission," the English newspaper said on its online version.

Currently, the Health Ministry is under the supervision of Li Keqiang, one of four vice premiers in the State Council or otherwise, cabinet.

China has been dogged by a series of food safety issues, including the use of banned chemicals or additives, that had marred its reputation at home and abroad.

In particular, last year saw the Sanlu tainted milk scandal in which the industrial chemical, melamine, was found in infant formula .

Six babies died and nearly 300,000 others were affected with kidney ailments.

In an editorial Monday, the China Daily said existing food safety mechanisms had failed because "the responsibilities of different departments had not been properly dovetailed."

"Looking back on the Sanlu scandal and other unfortunate ones, we see a pattern at work - the more government agencies are involved in one task, the less likely things get done," it said.

The editorial added: "Liabilities can be easily transferred among the parties, so that no party gets its due share."









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