Tue, Aug 07, 2007 - Page 1 News List

China to launch food safety crackdown

AGENCIES , BEIJING

China will launch a nationwide crackdown and propaganda offensive to fight fears about unsafe food, the government announced yesterday ahead of the beginning of the one-year countdown to the Olympic Games.

The State Council decided to "launch a quality improvement campaign focused on food safety," General Administration for Industry and Commerce Director Zhou Baihua (周伯華) said on the government's Web site.

Zhou promised to launch a public relations campaign to accompany the crackdown.

"Wage a battle to guide opinion," he told officials. "Comprehensively strengthen opinion and information work."

Zhou's comments were the latest official statements seeking to cool anxiety among domestic and foreign consumers about the safety of Chinese food and products.

A range of Chinese exports, from fish and toys to pet food and toothpaste, has been found to be mislabeled, unsafe or dangerously contaminated, creating an international backlash.

Beijing has also been grappling with domestic fears about foods laced with chemicals or bacteria.

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