China tightens up on fortified foods regulation

By Ankush Chibber

- Last updated on GMT

Crackdown on Chinese functional food sector
Crackdown on Chinese functional food sector

Related tags: Nutrition, Regulation

China has announced new regulations and a renewed focus on the quality and safety of functional foods being sold in the country, as part of a series of crackdowns meant to reinforce food safety in the country.

The regulations were announced by a public circular issued last week by the State Council, equivalent to a cabinet of ministers elsewhere, which was then distributed by the state-owned newswire Xinhua to local media.

The new regulations have been issued by the council to create a stronger regulatory environment for the functional foods market, whose exponential growth has coincided with a rise in the number of complaints.

The State Council said that, under the new rules, it will ensure that manufacturers of functional foods strictly and honestly follow the laid out application procedures for such products.

Blacklist

In addition, the council warned that it would blacklist those functional food makers that willfully file false information and withdraw market access for them with immediate effect.

Under the new regime, the council said, it would toughen monitoring efforts throughout the entire supply chain of functional foods from production to sale by increasing the number of inspections across the sector.

In addition, the council said, it would pay increased attention to those functional food makers whose products advertise instant weight loss or fatigue recovery as they have been the source of most complaints about food safety.

Crackdowns

The council also said that more focus would be put on the practice of misleading advertisements and labeling, with state agencies increasing their crackdowns on products that advertise fake expert recommendations or patient testimonies.

On the manufacturing end of things, the council said that via food safety agencies, it would increase inspections to weed out functional food makers who maybe using illegal and harmful additives in their foods.

The circular, which was issued a day after the country’s top food sector regulator, the State Food and Drug Administration announced on 4 November that it will set up a special committee for functional foods and cosmetics.

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