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China launches five-year food safety plan

China released a five-year plan last week, upgrading its food safety regulations, Food Safety News reports.

The new plan, developed by the country's Ministry of Health, sets out to update existing standards, write new ones, and in general close loopholes and abolish ambiguities. The framework was announced on the heels of China's Food Safety Week.

Despite the spate of China food scandals in recent years, the country has more than 2,000 national food regulations and more than 2,900 industry-based regulations.

"Many of the regulations are overlapping or contradict each other, since multiple government agencies were given the responsibility of compiling their own standards years ago," said the government in a statement.

The plan calls for coordination between 14 different government departments, including the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Agriculture, to complete reviewing and revamping the existing standards by 2015.

"The government will prioritize safety standards for dairy products, infant food, meat, alcohol, vegetable oil, seasoning, health products and food additives so as to specify limits for dangerous ingredients in these foods," according to the release. "Moreover, the government will make special efforts to set standards for testing various contaminants, food additives, microorganisms, pesticide and animal drug residue in food production by 2015."

Source: Food Safety News 

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