China food watchdog welcomes media supervision on food safety
December 9, 2009 1:23 am
BEIJING, Dec. 8 — China's State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) Tuesday welcomed media scrutiny of food quality problems and urged the media to also report problems to public health or food supervisory authorities.
The SFDA made the gesture as restaurants in the southwest Sichuan Province were reportedly abusing the use of food additives in fresh juices.
Spokeswoman Yan Jiangying said at a regular press conference that officials and experts had been dispatched to check almost 7,000 eating venues in the province, both openly and secretly.
Yan did not say if the accusations were justified, but said that local food supervisory bodies had analyzed the problems they discovered relating to food additive abuses and vowed stern punishments for those caught violating the rules.
Watchdogs in other municipalities and provinces, including Beijing, had conducted similar investigations, she said.
Since late 2008, China has intensified supervision over food additives, imposing a strict recording of purchases and consumption.
Food quality issues have been particularly sensitive in China since September last year as melamine-contaminated dairy products were found to have left at least six infants dead and sickened about 300,000 others. (PNA/Xinhua)