Domestic consumers' concerns over food safety have heightened in the wake of a series of scandals that highlighted the need to overhaul the food system and improve safety standards in China.
Health scares caused by poisonous foods have hit headlines around the country. Salted duck eggs, which have been found to contain a poisonous red dye for industrial use, were pulled off the shelves of Beijing's supermarkets. The sale of turbot, a popular type of flatfish, has been banned after some were found to contain carcinogens caused by chemical-laden feed. Hairy crabs exported from the mainland to Taiwan contained a carcinogen, according to Taiwan health officials.
As a move to promote the agricultural modernization and boost the international competitive edge of China's farm products, the Ministry of Agriculture has announced at a national conference on quality of agricultural products on September 14 that the ministry plans to take five years to streamline a nationwide network of farm product quality inspection agencies. The nation's first law on farm product safety took effect on November 1.