Food safety concerns people's health and life safety. How to make people feel at ease? The state will issue documents again, upgrade food safety supervision and dock with the international accelerated revision of standards.
On May 20, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council issued Opinions on Deepening Reform and Strengthening Food Safety Work (hereinafter referred to as "Opinions"), saying that the current food safety situation is "still complex and grim".
The Opinion calls for deepening reform and innovation, using the most rigorous standards, the strictest supervision, the strictest punishment and the most serious accountability, to further strengthen food safety and ensure the "safety on the tongue" of the people. Based on the national conditions and docking with international accelerated standards, the revised Opinions mentioned that China's food safety work is still facing many difficulties and challenges, and the situation is still complex and grim. We need to put food safety among the people first, stick to the bottom line of safety, properly handle the relationship between safety and development, promote one side's development and ensure one side's safety.
Recently, the State Administration of Market Supervision issued the national food safety sampling inspection in 2018. The unqualified rate of food safety supervision sampling inspection dropped from 5.3% in 2014 to 2.4% in 2018. From the figures, we can see that China's food safety level has improved a lot, but food safety work still faces many difficulties and challenges, the situation is still complex and grim. For example, microbial and heavy metal pollution, excessive pesticide and veterinary drug residues, non-standard use of additives, counterfeiting and selling fake and other problems occur from time to time, the impact of environmental pollution on food safety is gradually apparent; illegal costs are low, the cost of safeguarding rights is high, the legal system is not perfect, and some producers and operators are profit-seeking and lack of awareness of main responsibility. The potential risks of new formats and resources have increased, and food safety problems brought about by international trade have deepened; problems such as the lack of grassroots supervision and technical means are still prominent. Faced with these problems, Wang Tiehan, Director of Food Safety of the State Administration of Market Supervision and Administration, said at the previous International Food Safety Conference that food safety should be strengthened in advance, market access should be strictly controlled, daily supervision should be strengthened, process control should be well controlled, supervision over the whole process of food production and operation should be carried out, and graded management of food risk should be promoted. Rationally, we should strengthen daily sampling, flight inspection and system inspection, investigate potential food safety hazards, control food safety risks, initially build a supervision and inspection system for food production and operation based on risk management, and rely on sampling inspection and monitoring to strengthen ex post supervision. The premise of food safety is to establish standards, which should be based on both international standards and national conditions.
The Opinion calls for speeding up the revision of general food safety standards such as pesticide residues, veterinary drug residues, heavy metals, food contaminants, pathogenic microorganisms and so on. By 2020, the pesticide and veterinary drug residues limit index will reach 10,000 items, basically in line with the standards of the International Code of Food. Inspector Zhang Leishi of the National Health Commission said that the Framework Principles of Food Safety Standard System in China are basically in line with the International Codex Alimentarius Standards. The main indicators are basically the same as those of developed countries. Taking the publication of 1260 national food safety standards involving nearly 20,000 indicators as an example, it basically covers the food control requirements of the main links from farmland to table, food production and processing, effectively standardizes and promotes the healthy development of the food industry, and meets the needs of food safety supervision. He said that for 13 consecutive years, China has served as the chairman of the two International Codex Alimentarius Committees on Pesticide Residues in Food Additives. It has led the international standard formulation in two areas, promoted the improvement of global food safety level, followed up relevant international standards, fulfilled the obligations of WTO member countries, and strengthened its relations with major trading partners and countries. International organizations cooperate to establish a food safety communication and coordination mechanism to safeguard international trade fairness. Food safety depends on brand channels and strict supervision for microbial and heavy metal pollution, excessive pesticide and veterinary drug residues, non-standard use of additives, counterfeiting and sale. The industry believes that this is closely related to the inefficiency of traditional Chinese agricultural production and chain length. Qi Tiebao, president of Mingkanghui Eco-Agriculture Group, told First Financial and Economic Journalist that at present, in the domestic market, agricultural production has a large input, a slow output, a long industrial chain and many circulation links, and there are many pain points. For example, "upstream" is dominated by retail farmers, and it is difficult to unify standards; "midstream" procurement, transshipment, wholesalers and vendors; and "downstream" is dominated by vegetable vendors in husband and wife stores. It is difficult to achieve traceability of quality and safety throughout the industry chain. He believes that the upgrading of modern lifestyle requires the matching of agricultural products with quality assurance. The ultimate outlet for food safety depends on brand channels, that is, where products come from, at what cost, to whom they are sold, how to sell them, whether there is bargaining power, whether there is brand effect, and whether the channels are controllable. And so on, these factors determine how to produce agricultural products in the end.