By GORDON FAIRCLOUGH
United Nations officials called for an overhaul of
The Chinese government's methods for protecting the food
supply need "urgent review and revision," said Khalid Malik, the U.N.'s resident coordinator in
At least three children have died and more than 5,000 remained hospitalized with kidney ailments last week, according to the health ministry. All had been fed baby formula made with powdered milk containing the industrial chemical melamine.
The standing committee of the National People's Congress, China's legislature, is scheduled to begin discussions Thursday on a draft of a new food-safety law designed, among other things, to improve authorities' ability to trace and recall unsafe food.
In a report issued Wednesday, the U.N. applauded
But the report urged
The culprits in the melamine-adulteration case
"exploited weaknesses" in
A central problem, Mr. Schlundt
said, is that under
The report urges a new approach to regulation that would shift more responsibility for safety onto food manufacturers, requiring them to institute risk-management measures, which can then be audited by government inspectors.
"No government can ensure food safety" on its own, said Anthony Hazzard, the WHO's regional food-safety adviser for the western Pacific. "Companies need to be responsible for production and food safety," he said. "They need to look back along their supply chains" to make sure ingredients are safe.
Mr. Hazzard said that
The U.N. report said
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