China To Develop Food Recall System

The regulating body for China’s food and drug industries will issue rules requiring companies to take back products that pose a health risk. The rules will apply to all domestic and foreign food producers and distributors or risk being blacklisted for violations.

At the same time, the agency, the State Food and Drug Administration, said it would issue warnings to companies not to import Chinese food products that do not have proper export approvals.

The recall move is a response to a series of recent cases of tainted drugs and food products being exported from China to markets in Latin America and the United States. According to some reports, as many as 100 deaths in Panama resulted from tainted drugs.

Chinese officials say a Panama trader changed or altered paperwork to say that diethylene glycol (an ingredient in automotive anti-freeze) was actually medical glycol.

Earlier, Zheng Xiaoyu, the former head of the Food and Drug Administration, was sentenced to death after pleading guilty of corruption and accepting bribes to approve drug production licenses. Zheng was head of the agency from its creation in 1998 to 2005. In his appeal of the death sentence, Zheng noted he had returned the cash and gifts (valued at over $800,000) and had cooperated with investigators.

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