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Regulators in China urge government to restructure food supervisory system
Tuesday, 05 March, 2013, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Regulators and others in China have urged the government to restructure the country's food supervisory system to regain customer confidence as Hong Kong's newly-adopted purchase ban on baby formula refueled the public's concerns over food safety.

According to a report by Xinhua, Zhu Lieyu, a deputy to the National People's Congress, said on Sunday that China's food monitoring system should be streamlined as the system is fractured and has many loopholes.
China's current food safety system involves at least five departments, including health, agriculture, quality supervision, industry and commerce administration, and food and drug supervision. Insufficient communication and coordination among those agencies often resulted in low work efficiency and supervision loopholes.

A string of food safety scandals, particularly the one in 2008 when the melamine-tainted baby formula caused the deaths of at least six infants and sickened 300,000 others, have crippled customer confidence.
The Chinese government has taken a slew of measures to intensify supervision and management of the food industry since 2008.

The State Council issued a regulation in July 2012 with aims to improve benchmark mechanisms, technical support for food safety, and the food industry's overall performance in the area over the next five years.
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