Friday, December 4, 2009


Chinese Food Industry seems to be at cross roads after the notorious melamine tainted baby food scandal which affected thousands of children in the form of kidney failure. It is another matter that two of the culprits identified for the tragedy were mercilessly executed to provide a lesson and deterrent to future adulterators. Realizing the damage this has caused to the image of the country and future food exports, Chines government is going out of the way to woo neighboring countries through safety assurance cooperative pacts.

"Health ministers from the three countries signed the accord in Tokyo. The food safety memorandum was inked following the contamination scandal last year involving Chinese dumplings. Under the deal, the three nations agreed to notify each other immediately if a food safety problem surfaces and to clarify the process of investigation, said a joint statement. The Japanese are still pressing Chinese authorities to investigate the January 2008 incidents involving pesticide-tainted frozen dumplings. Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has supported closer ties with China but has also stressed that concerns over the safety of imported Chinese food were an "obstacle" between the nations".

Such cooperative agreements will go a long way to reassure the importing countries about the seriousness and intent of exporting countries in safeguarding the health of the consumers in the importing countries. In stead of such limited cooperative agreements, it is time that members of United Nations come together to evolve a common platform or protocol that can be used to resolve quality and safety issues as and when they crop up amongst the trading nations. Food safety is no more a national issue but transcends boundaries affecting the whole world.


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