China regulator to strengthen ‘grim’ food, drug safety control

Food and drug safety in China is “grim” and will get stronger oversight, the food and drug regulator said on Wednesday, after a series of scares last year hit the reputations of global firms such as McDonald’s Corp and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Grim_ReaperThe China Food and Drug Administration has struggled to control a string of high-profile scandals over the years, from donkey meat products tainted with fox, heavy metals in baby food and allegations of expired meat sold to fast-food chains.

“We must soberly recognise the current foundations of China’s food and drug safety are still weak, with new and old risks together creating a grim situation,” the regulator said in a statement on its website after a meeting in Beijing this week.

China will increase “active” regulation to prevent food and drug safety scares, with more on-site inspections, random tests and unannounced visits, the regulator said. The quality of personnel, legal structures, management methods and technological aspects were all currently insufficient, it said.