China to improve food and drug safety
Jun 07,2007 00:00 by UPI

SHANGHAI - The Chinese government says it is overhauling food and drug safety regulations in response to growing international concern.

The move by China's State Council is aimed at calming fears that some of its food and drug exports pose health problems, The New York Times said Wednesday.

While the Chinese government has denied problems with quality and safety, warnings about a toothpaste containing a toxic chemical and shipments of tainted pet food ingredients is putting pressure on China to step up safety inspections and shut down companies accused of producing unsafe food or counterfeit drugs, the newspaper said.

The government said in an announcement that it plans to place new controls on food and drug imports and exports, increase random testing on medicines and have inspection information on 90 percent of all food products by 2010.

Zheng Xiaoyu, the head of the Food and Drug Administration in China from 1998 to 2005, was sentenced to death by a Chinese court last week after pleading guilty to bribery and corruption, the newspaper said.

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