Repeated food safety scandals have dealt a ‘blow to public confidence’ in China, with a majority of citizens concerned about the nation’s food chain safety.
The study, compiled by the Shanghai Institute for Food and Drug Safety in collaboration with the East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST), revealed about 70% of respondents were worried about food safety.
“Such a negative attitude on food safety issues is caused by the continuous exposure of food safety scandals in recent years, which deal a blow to public confidence,” said Rua Zanlin, an ECUST food safety expert.
In addition, the study revealed 70% of the 4400 respondents believed there were problems yet to be discovered in the production and processing of food in China by food safety authorities.
Meat products caused the greatest concern with 50% concerned about consuming these products, Another 26% were worried about the safety of milk products in the country.
The negative outlook stretched beyond individual food items to their manufacturers, with 42% stating products made by modern food companies were now ‘more unsafe’ than before.
The government and its representatives got off relatively lightly, with only 26% of respondents affirming substandard supervision and inspection processes.
But 60% said punishment for illegal behavior with food needed to be heavier.
“Now the public has placed its hopes in protecting food safety on the government, so authorities should integrate their resources to strengthen supervision and deal a stronger blow to illegal behavior,” said Ruan.
As far as the dissemination of food safety alerts and news goes, almost 60% said television and radio were the most reliable bets, while 32% believed food advertising could not to be trusted.