CHINA TOPIX

Updated 4:59 PM EDT, Fri, Oct 11, 2019

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Premier Li Calls for Strict Implementation of New Food Safety Law

China Food Safety

(Photo : Photo by China Photos/Getty Images) A woman shops for powdered milk at a supermarket in Chengdu of Sichuan Province, China. Premier Li has revealed that there will be "zero tolerance" for violators of China's new Food Safety Law.

Prime Minister Li Keqiang has revealed that there would be "zero tolerance" for companies and individuals found guilty of violating the country's new food safety law, which will come into effect on Oct 1.

Premier Li, who made this comment during a food safety conference on Thurs, June 11, highlighted on the importance of food safety for the wellbeing of the society, according to Xinhua.

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He further called for the creation of an efficient monitoring system to oversee the production and sales of food items.

The Chinese government has put a priority on improving food safety in the country following a 2008 scandal involving tainted baby milk, which affected thousands of infants across the nation and left at least six dead.  In April, the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC) made an amendment to the country's Food Safety Law - introducing up to 50 new articles to the law.

Experts say the new law will impose more severe civil, administrative and criminal punishments on individuals and organizations found guilty of participating in or facilitating the violation of the country's food safety laws. The new amendments also introduce tighter regulations for the domestic diary industry and online food vendors.

Critics say the large size of the country and the multiplicity of food producers has made it difficult to monitor offenders in the past. At the recent conference, Vice Premier Wang Yang called on local authorities and the general public to make it their responsibility to closely monitor the quality of food produced in the country.

China has rejected millions of genetically modified corn from the US over the past few years, according to Bloomberg. Despite concerns over the safety of genetically modified organisms (GMO), officials have noted that China will aim to dominate the sector.

Last year, President Xi Jinping noted that the country must be bold in studying and promoting GMO technology. Nonetheless, he warned that the production and commercialization of GMO products must be done according to the country's laws, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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