CHINA – China has amended its law on the quality and safety of agricultural produce to include a traceability system for edible agricultural products.

The draft,  which says that to establish the system, enterprises and farmers’ cooperatives that produce such products should obtain certificates verifying their quality and safety and be responsible for the products they sell, has already been submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) for review.

At present, the NPC Standing Committee plays a key role in legislation and has the power to promulgate and amend most laws and decrees. Bills voted on by the National People’s Congress are usually submitted by the Standing Committee after its third reading.

It also requires enterprises to implement tracing management to ensure all the data and information about agricultural products that needs to be traceable is available. In addition, the draft will necessitate producers to hold to the principles of integrity and self-discipline, be open to public supervision and shoulder social responsibility.

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, a political body that comprises the top leaders of the Chinese Communist Party, and the State Council, China’s Cabinet, have made the quality and safety of agricultural products a priority.

Earlier in the year, at a national teleconference to recognize food safety champions, Premier Li Keqiang, a member of the standing committee, stressed on the need of food safety commissions at all levels to fulfill their responsibilities and coordinate with each other to enhance supervision over production, circulation and consumption.

Vice-Premier Han Zheng, also a member of the Standing Committee, had also called for the utilization of more advanced technologies to augment food inspections.

President Xi Jinping has stressed that the quality and safety of agricultural products should be a key part of the transformation of the development mode of agriculture and the speeding up of the establishment of modern agriculture to ensure people’s safety.

Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Tang Renjian said the existing law was approved in 2006 and slightly amended in 2018.

“It has played a vital role in regulating production and operating activities, as well as ensuring the quality and safety of agricultural products,” he said, adding that 97 percent of products had passed regular inspections in recent years, indicating that the quality and safety of agricultural products nationwide is good.

The new amendment will better serve the future supervision and management of the quality and safety of agricultural products, Tang said.

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