Additive blacklist is latest ingredient in food safety fight

Updated: 2011-04-25 13:30

(China Daily)

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BEIJING - In the wake of a series of scandals about the safety of food and drink in China, a committee under the State Council, or China's Cabinet, has published on Saturday a list of 151 ingredients and additives that have been banned during the past nine years.

The blacklist publicized by the food safety committee contains 47 "inedible" materials that have been used in the production of food, 22 additives that are open to abuse and 82 substances that are not allowed in animal feed or water.

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Tonyred, an industrial coloring agent, and "lean meat powder", which is also called ractopamine and that promotes fat-free meat when fed to livestock, are among the materials listed.

According to Chinese law, individuals and companies responsible for producing or selling toxic or hazardous food are liable to sanctions that include capital punishment.

Also on Sunday, the Ministry of Agriculture and eight other central authorities launched a year-long campaign aimed specifically at stamping out the use of "lean meat powder".

Inspection teams will visit 10 provinces and analyze every link in the chain of the pork production process.

The team will help local authorities set up a system to check for the illegal use of ractopamine, the ministry said on its website.

The moves are part of a concerted effort against the use of illegal additives in food.

Vice-Premier Li Keqiang, who is also head of the State Council's food safety committee, earlier this week promised "a firm attitude, iron hand and more effort" in dealing with the problem.

The 151-item blacklist has been published on the websites of the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture.

The Ministry of Health began to publicize a list of forbidden food additives in 2008.

The Ministry of Agriculture started drawing attention to substances that are banned from animal feed and water in 2002.

The State Council, the Ministry of Health and the State Food and Drug Administration also publicized detailed measures last week that they are taking to improve food safety. They said they will step up supervision, upgrade safe limits and greatly increase penalties for those who violate food safety rules.

The efforts follow a series of food safety scandals that included the discovery of steamed buns that had been dyed with unidentified chemicals, the use of "lean meat powder" to create muscle-bound pigs and the use of illegal cooking oil, known as "gutter oil", which is produced from waste materials from commercial kitchens.

Xinhua - China Daily



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