The full text of the 13th Five-year Plan for Food Safety by China’s State Council, issued earlier this month, is available in Chinese.

The document examines the status of food safety in China, acknowledging that some problems do exist, according to an English version of a news release from The State Council. The plan specifically addresses contamination from input sources like environmental pollution and inappropriate agricultural practices.

Chinesestreetfood_406x250The plans find challenges remain from China’s vast number of producers, the absence of sufficient food safety standards and insufficient regulatory and enforcement capacity.

China begins the new planning period with at least 135,000 food producing enterprises, 8.19 million circulating enterprises and 3.48 million catering services. All totaled, these enterprises generate revenues of $1.65 trillion with year-to-year growth reaching 12.5 percent. Food imports and exports are increasing in value by 23.9 percent.

China paints a picture of continual improvement for food safety. It is now coordinating among the relevant ministries through the Food Safety Commission. The China Food Safety Administration was reorganized with food safety regulatory offices from the previous State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC) and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ)

The Food Safety Law and supporting regulations have also been revised. The National Health and Family Planning Commission completed a review of food standards and the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) set 2,800 limits for pesticide residue limits for foods.

The plan’s objectives are:

  1. To enhance sample testing to cover all types of food;
  2. The effective governance of resource contamination;
  3. To reinforce on-site inspections, establishing a professional inspector team and standardized enforcement procedures and documentation; and
  4. To align Chinese food safety standards with international standards.

The new plan calls for China to establish a database that covers food safety standards as developed by Codex. Codex or Codex Alimentarius is the world “Food Code” adopted by the international Codex Alimentarius Commission. The plan commits China to continuously improve the food safety standard system.

“China will actively participate in the formulation of international rules and standards and join global efforts in response to food safety incidents,” says the Plan. “China will also contribute to the improvement of food safety governance; Chinese experts are also encouraged to take on positions at food-related international organizations.”

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