China Says It Will Improve Food Safety

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Associated Press
Sunday, October 26, 2008

BEIJING, Oct. 25 -- Premier Wen Jiabao announced Saturday that China will take steps to improve its food safety, saying that tainted milk products believed to have killed four babies and sickened thousands of children represented a failure of regulation.

Wen said that the milk scandal will spur the introduction of China's first major food safety law and that China's food exports will meet international standards.

"Food involves a full process from the farmland to the table. It involves many links and many processes," he said, speaking at the Asia-Europe Meeting summit in Beijing. "In every link and every process, we need to put in place effective and powerful regulatory measures."

In another display of government resolve, state television showed authorities burning tainted dairy products. About 32,200 tons of goods were destroyed this month in one province, the official New China News Agency said. It said about a third was infant formula made by Shijiazhuang Sanlu Group, whose products were the most heavily tainted.

More than 3,600 children remain sick in China from milk contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine, used in plastics and fertilizer, with three in serious condition, the Ministry of Health said last week. The scandal has prompted recalls of Chinese-made milk products in dozens of countries.


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