China Vows New Product Safety Rules

March 6, 2008

The Chinese premier said this week that Beijing is taking steps to ensure that its product safety regulations meet international standards, signalling another phase in China’s wide-ranging campaign to repair its batterd reputation as an exporter.

China’s exports have come under heavy scrutiny in the past year after potentially deadly levels of chemicals were found in goods ranging from toothpaste to toys to a pet food ingredient.

“It is imperative that the people feel confident about the safety of food and other consumer goods and that our exports have a good reputation,” Premier Wen Jiabao said Wednesday during an address to the National People’s Congress, China’s legislature.

Measures to ensure the quality of products for both domestic and international consumption will include creating or updating 7,700 national safety standards, he said.

Requirements and testing methods related to food and product safety will meet international standards, Wen said.

Wen also said coordination between law enforcement and prosecutors needs to be improved to increase the penalties for guilty producers.

China last year announced a series of measures to boost product supervision and declared as a success a four-month quality and safety campaign that ended in December.

With the Beijing Olympic Games less than 200 days away, authorities have pledged to take rigorous measures to ensure food safety.

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