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Thursday, January 28, 2016, 20:50

President Xi urges 'strictest' food safety measures

By Xinhua
President Xi urges 'strictest' food safety measures
This picture taken on May 6, 2013 shows a plate of mutton on a table in a hotpot restaurant in Shanghai. ( CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO)

BEIJING - Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged implementation of the "strictest" measures to ensure food safety for the public.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the remarks in an instruction published on Thursday.

Noting that the work to ensure food safety impacts both the people's livelihoods and public confidence in government, Xi called on all Party and governmental authorities to perform their due duty and practice with a people-centered concept in this regard.

The food safety situation in China remains grave, Xi said, calling for more unified and authoritative supervision system and regulations.

He urged the strongest measures, the most rigorous standards, the most strict supervision, the most severe punishment for violators and the most serious accountability system, for food safety.

In a separate instruction, Premier Li Keqiang pledged "zero tolerance" to food safety violations, promising timely and harsh punishment for guilty parties.

He urged government agencies to continue tackling the big issues related to food safety and to remember that the interests of the people were their top priority.

Li also stressed reform and adherence to rule of law in this regard.

The food safety supervision system, Li said, should cover the whole food production process, "from farm to table."

The State Council Food Safety Commission held its third plenary meeting on Thursday. The meeting was presided over by Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, who also heads the commission.

Zhang said supply-side structural reform is needed to improve food safety.

Moreover, government agencies are told to improve and increase inspections to identify risks and foul play.

China's food safety standards should suit both the country's realistic situation and international criteria, which require heavy-handed measures to deter violations, Zhang said.

President Xi urges 'strictest' food safety measures
Chinese models wait for customers at the China International Food Safety Technology & Innovations Expo in Beijing on June 18, 2013. (AFP PHOTO/ Mark RALSTON)
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