December 17, 2008
Authorities in China's Xinjiang Autonomous Region are checking for illegal additives in grains as part of a food safety campaign following the melamine-tainted milk scandal.
The campaign will strictly supervise production, transportation and marketing processes to prevent the use of illegal or excessive amount of additives, said Huang Jianzhuang, chairman of Xinjiang's grain industry association.
Additives such as bleaching agents are banned, and food manufacturers and retailers who violate the rules will face business suspension or other punishment.
The campaign is expected to benefit consumers in about 10,000 urban communities and 9,584 villages, which could be affected by contaminated food products, said Xinjiang's food and drug administration.
This initiative followed a four-month nationwide investigation launched last week to eliminate the use of illegal additives in food.
A blacklist was issued on Monday (Dec 15), banning the use of 17 non-food substances and 10 additives.
China has about 500,000 food processing firms, 70 percent of which are small firms with less than 10 employees.