Friday, April 11, 2008

10 April, 2008 - A contentious food tracking system that Chinese authorities insist will radically improve safety has been incorporated into draft law

Source: FLEXNEWS10/04/2008

The new product and identification system however has met with resistance from major manufacturers who say it will fail to address the problem while significantly adding to production costs.Under the new arrangements each product will be allocated a unique code which, say Chinese officials, will allow it to be tracked at each stage of its productions and distribution cycle. Once it comes into full law, it will be illegal to sell food without such a code.China’s Government originally said the system had to be up and running by June but has now extended the deadline until the end of 2009.However, reports in Chinese media say many of the largest food companies, including Mars, NestlĂ©, Coca-Cola and Pepsico have raised concerns about the proposed system.Many companies said it would raise production costs and lead to price rises of up to 15%.More importantly, say opponents, the system has a number of fundamental flaws. It does not apply to small companies which, say many, are the cause of the majority of food safety breaches.Li Yu, scientific and regulatory affairs director of Mars China, was reported as saying: “The system is of little use in ensuring product safety, as it doesn't deal with the quality of raw materials."Also, the system doesn't apply to small food plants, and they have the most problems.”A Chinese Government official responsible for implementing the system said the government would work with companies to solve problems as they arose.

Marc Stevens

1 comment: said...

It can't work in reality, that is exactly what I suppose.