Chinese are becoming increasingly concerned with what they eat. Eating enough is now eating well and eating healthy. Li Kefu reports on how the country is making more efforts to ensure food safety.
China is known as a country of great tastes. However, in recent years, food safety has become a hot topic in China. Several high profile food scandals such as contaminated milk powder, "gutter oil" served in restaurants and illegal food additives are becoming prominent problems.
Chinese are more concerned with what they eat now. Food safety has become a hot topic in recent years, particularly after a series of scandals broke out in recent years.
The Ministry of Health has detailed the 12th five-year plan for food safety. It shows that the country is making an effort to upgrade regulations and revamp industry standards.
During a recent news conference on food safety, the Ministry of Health outlined the plan.
Su Zhi, deputy director of Health Supervision Bureau of MOH, said, "The administration is making efforts to expand the number of qualified personnel from 93,000 to more than 100,000 by the end of 2015. Moreover, the government will make special efforts to set standards for testing various contaminants, food additives and animal drug residue in food production by then."
In fact, prior to the 12th five-year plan takes effect, efforts were already underway.
In 2010, the State Food Safety Committee was set up as China’s top supervision and legislation agency responsible for food safety. The committee’s top officials are drawn from State Council members.
In 2011, the National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment was set up to offer scientific support for the country’s food safety supervision.
All these measures have shown the government’s determination to strengthen food safety supervision.
But food safety requires much more than supervision and law enforcement. After all, food safety is an issue that affects everyone.
Liu Baocheng, professor of university of Int'l Business and Economics, said, "Only through integrated and coordinated efforts from the government, media and consumers, can consumers get a better outlook in terms of health considerations"
Progress has been made. According to the Ministry of Health, law enforcement authorities shut-down more than 5,000 groups involved in food safety crimes in 2011. The country is determined to ensure food safety but it will need more time, and more effort from every individual.