May. 9, 2008
The Chinese government has drafted a new law on food safety evaluation, monitoring, recall and information release, according to a report by the Chinese news agency, Xinhua. The draft legislation has been put up on the National People’s Congress (NPC), website for public discussion. Public opinion is being solicited until May 20th following which submissions will be delivered to the NPC Standing Committee for further study. The draft proposes to impose penalties on producers of substandard food products including fines, the confiscation of their income and revocation of production certificates. In serious cases, violators could face prison terms ranging from three years to life.
Chinese industries have come under the spotlight with concerns about substandard products, especially in the case of vegetables with pesticide residues, says the report. China has been trying to tackle this by going for regulatory changes. After Japan tightened its laws on maximum residue limits (MRLs), Chinese imports topped the list of imported foodstuffs with residuesexceeding MRLs. Members of the public can make recommendations and submissions on the draft at the website: http://www.npc.gov.cn.