China launches food safety campaign

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12/16/2008-According to an article in the Washington Post, China has launched a four-month food safety campaign to weed out illegal or excessive chemicals in food. The drive is being conducted by nine central government departments and targets food and additive producers across the country. The campaign is being conducted in three phases. In the first month, companies are being asked to conduct internal checks. In the following two months, authorities will inspect producers of meat, dairy, and other products rich in protein, and conduct checks on markets. The third phase in the last month will focus on stemming the supply of illegal food additives by targeting producers and punishing companies that use such chemicals. The chemicals being focused on are those that have been issues in past domestic food scares. These include: malachite green, a possibly cancer-causing chemical used to treat fungal infections in fish; the industrial dye sudan red, which was being used to color egg yolks; and the more recent melamine, which was being used to make dairy products appear to be higher in protein.

Washington Post article



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