Overview of the Food Safety System in China
Speaker: John W. Jones, PhD, Consultant, International Food Safety
and Trade Issues, Food Safety Consulting Services International, LLC, MD
trade of foods between China
and the United States
is fundamental to the economic well being of both countries. Each country produces a wide variety of fresh
and processed foods that are of the quality and safety demanded by Chinese and
American consumers and which satisfy the laws and regulations of the two countries. In 2007, the total value of agricultural
products traded between the countries—primarily foods and food/feed
ingredients—exceeded RMB 74 billion (US$9.5 billion). Certainly, the value of bilateral food trade
will continue to increase rapidly, to the benefit of producers and consumers in
both countries, provided that issues that arise periodically pertaining to food
safety and animal and plant health (i.e., sanitary and phytosanitary
issues—SPS) can be prevented or resolved through cooperation of all involved
government and private sector entities.
The events of
2007 concerning the safety of foods for human consumption and pet foods
produced in China
demonstrated the extraordinary sensitivity and public concern in the United States
over the issue of food and feed safety.
These events brought into sharp focus the need for the two governments
to work cooperatively to resolve emerging food safety issues, and for the food
industries of China and the United States
to redouble their efforts to ensure that only safe and high quality foods are
introduced into bilateral trade channels.
On December 11, 2007, China
and the United States
signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) aimed at ensuring that only safe foods
and animal feeds are traded between the two countries. This MOA specifies that China's General Administration for Quality
Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) will put into place a
registration and certification system for certain "designated covered
products" exported from China
to the United States
-- certain categories of foods and pet foods which fall under the jurisdiction
of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
will provide an overview of the food safety system of China, including a snapshot of China's agri-food sector and of the government regulatory and
enforcement infrastructure that oversees food safety. It will also summarize FDA's ongoing efforts
to establish in China
the agency's first-ever permanent overseas presence.