CHINA - Since 2007 a seemingly endless spate of food scandals has bedeviled China’s food industry. The Chinese government has begun the tortuous process of implementing radical revisions to the Food Safety Law in force since 1 October 2015 – according to an in-depth report in the industry newsletter, Packaging Business Insight Asia.
From rotten meat being processed and sold to supermarkets to milk tainted with melamine which cost the life of more than 10 infants, and the Minister in Charge of Certification – he was executed for selling phony processing licenses – China is in the process of cleaning up its act.
Since the new legislation was enacted, more than 27 subsidiary regulations have been introduced – with a whole lot more to come.
The new law is vast in scope, intended to regulate a wide range of food and food-related issues: Apart from the obvious, Infant Formula Milk, the legislation encompasses Health Foods, Medical Foods (ie for diabetics among others), Food Processing (mandatory standards, licensing, inspections etc).
Specific regulations cover packaging and labelling – specifying that all information must be directly printed on the pack in Chinese – no adhesive labels permitted – even the type size is regulated.
For Food Imports into China, importers are now required to inspect overseas suppliers facilities every three years for compliance with the new Chinese standards and regulations.
The law includes licensing and inspection of retailers, multinational supermarkets and food service outlets. As a sign of the times in China, there is even a provision for the governance of food items sold over the internet by e-tailers.
More details can be found in a Special Report in the current issue of Packaging Business Insight Asia newsletter – free to download here.
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