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China to strengthen food safety measures

March 30, 2011 at 1:23 PM   |   Comments

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BEIJING, March 30 (UPI) -- China says it will strengthen its regulation of food quality and improve the efficiency of supervision and inspections by local governments for food safety.

Government officials said creation of a system to assess the quality of food-safety supervision and inspection would be a primary task in 2011, the official Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday.

Experts applauded the proposal by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

"It will make local governments shoulder the responsibility of ensuring product quality and food safety," said Xiong Wenzhao, a professor in administrative law at Minzu University of China.

The announcement came in the wake of the latest in a string of food-safety scandals, when an affiliate of the country's largest meat processor, Shuanghui Group, was found to have purchased pigs fed with clenbuterol, an illegal additive used to produce leaner pork.

The meat was able to enter the marketplace in part because local quarantine officials allowed pig farmers to choose which pork samples they would submit for testing, Xinhua reported.

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