Working at lightning speed compared to their U.S. counterparts, officials with the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) have reportedly issued several proposed rules and finalized three, and it’s only been about four months since revisions to the country’s Food Safety Law were adopted. These revisions become effective Oct. 1, 2015. The responsibility for regulating food safety in China has been assigned to different agencies over the years, according to recent reports, but it has mainly resided within CFDA since the spring of 2013. Because of this fragmented history, CFDA has had to synthesize varying food safety rules and regulations, such as those applying to food recalls and food manufacturing. CFDA announced on Aug. 27 that it would standardize how health food products are named so that consumers aren’t confused. A few days before that, the agency issued guidelines for reforming the appraisal and approval system for drugs and medical instruments. CFDA has also issued regulations on reviewing and issuing food manufacturing licenses, which are now being required for most food processing companies. Distributors, retailers and food service establishments will also be required to have distribution licenses from the agency. It’s not yet clear how CFDA regulations will address the recurring instances of food fraud in China. Some perpetrators have recently been arrested and jailed.
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