The Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC), the country’s top legislature, adopted an amendment to the 2009 Food Safety Law on Friday [24 April 2015] with the heaviest penalties yet for offenders. With 154 articles, compared with 104 in the original law, the revamped Food Safety Law adds new articles and provisions on baby formula and online shopping…Full Article: China Daily Apr 2015

Key Point

  • The new food safety law will go into effect on 1 October 2015. The new law stipulates that infant formula producers must register their powdered milk formula with China’s food and drug regulator. In addition, the law has increased fines and punishments for producers who add inedible substances to their products as well as suppliers who sell illegal substances to producers. Lastly, the law requires online shopping retailers to register the identity of their vendors.

ChinaAg Comments

  • The new law does not ban the use of 12 highly toxic pesticides including phorate and methomyl.
  • In August 2014, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and the National Health and Family Planning Commission issued new/stricter maximum allowable residue (MRL) standards that covered 387 pesticides on 284 different types of food. The new standards covered juice and preserved fruits for the first time ever, in addition to vegetables, fruits, grain, edible oil, sugar, soft drinks, nuts, eggs, and meat.
  • In June 2014, Vietnam notified China that fruit and vegetable imports from Guangxi, Yunnan and Shanghai contained excessive amounts of pesticide residue.
  • In May 2013, farmers in Shandong province were found to be using an illegal and highly toxic pesticide to grow ginger. One result was that Vietnam stepped up ginger inspections even though it does not undergo food safety tests since import volumes are generally so low.
  • In 2012, aldicarb (used to control nematodes and insect pests) was suspected in the deaths of 13 people in Anhui province after they reportedly ate cucumbers laced with the pesticide.
  • In 2012, apple producers in Shandong province were accused of wrapping apples in pesticide-coated paper to maintain its appearance.

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