Saturday, September 20, 2008

Association head: China food industry booms, safety to enhance

China's food industry sales volume was expected to hit 4 trillion yuan this year, said Wang Wenzhe, China National Food Industry Association chairman.

He made the remark here at the Sixth China Food Safety Annual Meeting on Saturday, saying the sales volume totaled 2.28 trillion yuan in the first seven months, an increase of 34.6 percent over the same period last year.

Figures show 98.4 percent of the country's food passed quality inspection and tests in the first half. The result was based on a survey covering 3,813 kinds of food produced by 3,288 enterprises.

The pass rate was 4 percentage points higher over that of the same period last year, and 9 percentage points higher than in 2006.

He acknowledged current quality of food was far from satisfying consumer expectations. Excessive pesticide residue and food additives were included among the problems.

Wang suggested the country improve its food quality and safety supervision system, call back disqualified products in time, and punish those who break regulations and risk public safety.

The country's food safety has been a tough issue, suffering sometimes from consumer complaints. The latest incident was the tainted milk scandal. More than 6,200 infants had developed kidney stones after drinking baby formula tainted with the hazardous chemical melamine.

By Friday, 3,215 tonnes of milk powder had been removed from retail outlets nationwide.

The case is currently under investigation.


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