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China unveils five-year plan for food safety

China has released its 12th five-year food safety plan. (Source:

China has released its 12th five-year food safety plan in an effort to upgrade its food safety regulations and revamp industry standards

The plan, released by China’s Ministry of Health, will enact 269 national food safety standards placing special emphasis on dairy safety, food additives and mycotoxin limits.

According to the government, the new plan by the country's Ministry of Health is aimed at revamping outdated standards. The framework comes in the wake of the recently concluded Food Safety Week.

China has more than 2,000 national food regulations and about 2,900 industry-based regulations.

“Many of the regulations are overlapping or contradict each other, since multiple government agencies were given the responsibility of compiling their own standards years ago,” said the government, in a statement released recently.

Existing standards in the country will be overhauled by 2015 and will be the outcome of coordinated decisions made by 14 government departments including the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Agriculture.

"The government will prioritise safety standards for dairy products, infant food, meat, alcohol, vegetable oil, seasoning, health products and food additives so as to specify limits for dangerous ingredients in these foods," according to the release.

“Moreover, the government will make special efforts to set standards for testing various contaminants, food additives, microorganisms, pesticide and animal drug residue in food production by 2015.”