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Bad intentions threaten food safety

[ 2011-06-14 10:37]     字号 [] [] []  
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Intentional contamination by food producers and processors driven by profits are largely being blamed for the food safety crisis in China, officials with the country's top food security watchdog said on Monday.

"Instead of sheer accidents, most of the recent stomach-turning food safety incidents are a consequence of intentional violations of food safety regulations and processing procedures," said Yu Jun, a senior official with the Food Safety Commission under the State Council, China's Cabinet, at the Third China Food Safety Forum.

"Cases include incidents caused by additives, such as melamine, clenbuterol and the steamed buns colored with chemicals found in Shanghai and Zhejiang province," Yu said.

The 2008 melamine-tainted baby formula scandal spurred the Chinese government to declare food safety a national priority. Nationwide outrage exploded over melamine-contaminated baby milk that sickened 300,000 infants and killed six children.

Clenbuterol, an additive that makes pigs leaner but causes health problems in humans, stirred another widespread fear of pork safety in the country in recent months. China's largest meat processor, the Shuanghui Group, apologized in April for selling pork products that contained the additive.

In April, steamed buns containing illegal dyes were found in Shanghai and Wenzhou in Zhejiang province. Authorities closed a Shanghai-based bun company and later shut down an unlicensed workshop making steamed buns after the buns were allegedly found to contain prohibited chemicals.

More recently, the disease control authority in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, said it found that products of a local company contain plasticizer used to soften plastic.

To address the existing problems, the Chinese government will continue to carry out a variety of supervision and investigation campaigns on food safety, officials said.


1. What is the name of the forum?

2. How many children died in the 2008 baby milk scandal?

3. What additive makes pigs leaner?


1. Third China Food Safety Forum.

2. Six.

3. Clenbuterol.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Bad intentions threaten food safety

About the broadcaster:

Bad intentions threaten food safety

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.