Food Safety Law Hits China

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Chinese legislature passed a new law today following the melamine-tainted milk scandal last year which killed 6 children and poisoned 3,000. The 5 year in-the-making ruling promises stricter regulations for food testing and more severe punishments for failure to comply; over 500,000 food processing plants are affected by the new legislation which will be implemented on June 1st of this year.

With the baby formula scandal still fresh in peoples’ minds, concerns over the safety of Chinese processed food products remained; previously the testing of food products was a responsibility shared between many companies, a practice which lacked cohesion. The new bill, as well as consolidating testing responsibility, will severely restrict the use of additives unless they are extensively proven safe; the melamine issue was largely caused by the addition of the industrial chemical to products.

Penalties for not complying with the new law range from fines to punitive damages to life imprisonment.

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