CHINA – China has during its third session of the 14th National People’s Congress Standing Committee presented a new food safety aimed at enhancing the country’s ability to ensure food safety and prevent incidents related to foodborne illnesses and contamination.
The new food safety law focuses on addressing specific challenges faced by China, such as the declining quality and limited availability of arable land, the increasing difficulties in grain production, and the absence of adequate emergency support systems.
These challenges have raised concerns regarding the country’s ability to maintain food safety and meet the growing demands of its population.
Data presented during the session highlighted the significant increase in soil pollution in China. Between 1980 and 2014, soil pollution levels surged by nearly 15 percent. Factors contributing to this rise include the excessive use of fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals in agricultural practices.
The adverse effects of these practices have compromised the health of water and agricultural ecosystems, thereby posing a threat to the agrifood sector and overall food safety and quality.
Measures outlined in the draft law
The draft law not only addresses the challenges faced by the country but also outlines consequences and administrative processes to deal with illegal activities related to land management, agrifood production, food safety, and food waste.
In establishing clear regulations and enforcement mechanisms, the law aims to hold accountable those engaging in illegal practices and safeguard the integrity of the food supply chain.
The new food safety law demonstrates China’s commitment to ensuring the safety and quality of its food supply.
By addressing the unique challenges specific to the country’s agricultural sector, including soil pollution and chemical usage, the law seeks to promote sustainable practices that protect public health and the environment.
The implementation of stringent regulations and effective enforcement mechanisms will play a crucial role in safeguarding the integrity and safety of the nation’s food system.
China has been actively working to enhance food safety measures in recent years. The new draft law is part of a broader effort by the Chinese government to strengthen food safety regulations, improve enforcement, and promote public awareness.
In February, the country released the exposure drafts of 38 national food safety standards, which included 12 newly established standards, 21 newly revised standards, and 5 amendment sheets.
The majority of these drafts deal with standards for contamination limits, food items, nutritional fortification substances, foods for specific dietary usage, food additives, and food-related products.
China also recently enacted its Revised Law on the Quality and Safety of Agricultural Products that will essentially strengthen food safety protocols through certification and traceability systems.
The law, which was first passed in 2006, has been essential in enhancing rural economies and safeguarding the safety of food.
The revised law strengthens the responsibilities of local authorities and business operators in ensuring the quality and safety of agricultural products during the entire process from production to consumption.