June 10, 2011


China pledges harsher food safety law enforcement


China has vowed to resolve the country's food safety problems through stricter enforcement of laws and regulations, according to an official statement Wednesday (Jun 8).


The ultimate way to end food safety incidents lies in the laws, said Yuan Shuhong, deputy director of the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council, in the statement.


"Only through enduring fair and strict enforcement of the laws can the authority of the food safety laws and the lawful operation of food firms be ensured," Yuan said.


Besides urging stricter law enforcement by upright and iron-handed law enforcers, Yuan said companies and individuals will be handed severe penalties if they break food safety or others laws pertaining to the quality of food.


Enterprises that intentionally add non-edible materials including clenbuterol to food products, will face revocation of licenses and confiscation of the equipment, Yuan said, referring to the harsher penalties.


Personnel who are in charge of the firms will be banned from food industry for five years and those whose practices qualify a crime will be strictly dealt with in accordance with the Criminal Law, he said.


He added that personnel whose criminal activities regarding food safety have caused serious consequences or fatalities may face a life sentence or even death penalty.


Firms, which are applicable to a fine in accordance with the law, will be imposed a top-level fine within the scope provided by laws, Yuan said.


Food manufacturing companies with loopholes regarding food safety should be ordered to correct immediately or suspend operation, he added.


Yuan said local governments must form an effective food safety monitoring system in which the responsibilities of inspectors are clearly defined and for which the local government's chief official will be held primarily responsible.


Further, law enforcers who do not carry out their jobs properly or take bribes which result in food safety accidents will be severely and quickly dealt with, Yuan said.

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