The CFDA admitted that a spate of rumours—some true, and others far less likely—have continued to stifle consumers’ confidence in food safety.
In an email to the Quartz news service, the regulator said that “the large population and limited land resources, as well as the special historical development phase of China” have “created a huge gap between food security regulation work and people’s expectations.”
In a bid to manage public confidence, it has taken to social media to issue weekly updates on food sample results, and launched web sites to inform consumers about recalls, risk warnings, inspections and illegal advertising.
The CFDA’s account on WeChat, a ubiquitous Asia communications app, further “addresses rumours and promotes science education on food and health,” Quartz reported.
Despite efforts to increase the number of samples it inspects—257,000 items last year, an increase of 49% over 2015, with 3.2% failing to meet standards—the regulator acknowledged that it still faced challenges in manpower and equipment.
“A relatively weak regulation force at the grass-roots level, the lack of technicians and outdated equipment for law-enforcement” are holding it back, it told Quartz in its statement.