Pharmaceutical & Food
Li vows to tighten monitoring on baby formula safety
Last Updated: 2013-06-03 14:32 |
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By Li Hongmei

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has called for strict monitoring of milk powder production, vowing to crack down on safety violators in a bid to regain public trust after a chain of food safety scandals in recent years.

A series of quality checks, including monitoring of baby formula products through electronic coding, were unveiled by Premier Li at an executive meeting of the State Council Friday, as he called for tighter regulation on the industry, according to China Daily.

A surge in demand for formula in China sparked by fears over the safety of domestic milk powder has seen shop shelves around the world cleared out by Chinese buyers and unofficial exporters.

Demand from the Chinese mainland is driven by memories of a 2008 scandal over Chinese formula tainted with the industrial chemical melamine which killed six children and affected more than 300,000 others.

Distrust grew last year when another domestic manufacturer's formula was found to be contaminated with carcinogens.

"Under the food regulations, it is mainly producers that are responsible for safety, but under the regulations covering medicine, both producers and sellers are held responsible," China Daily quoted food safety expert Dong Jinshi as saying.

He said Li's remarks reflect the Chinese government's determination to rebuild the tattered reputation of the country's dairy industry, according to the report.

China is by far the world's largest market for formula, says consumer research group Euromonitor.

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