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Experts call for food tracking system to ensure safety
Latest Updated by 2006-12-07 10:43:57
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China should set up a national tracking system for agricultural products so their points of origin can be determined if the products are defective or dangerous, according to a report.

The report, released by the National Research Center for Science and Technology for Development under the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), called for a uniform coding system to track agricultural products from the farm to food markets to secure food quality and safety.

Although food tracking systems have been established in some cities they are not standardized and the information collected is usually not complete, said the report.

Poisonous residue on some farm produce severely exceeds safe limits, the report said. Only 30 percent of Chinese farm produce meets European or American standards, it said.

A law on farm produce quality and safety, which was passed by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) in April, went into effect on Nov. 1.

The law forbids discharging sewage, solid waste or other poisonous substances in agricultural areas.

The law regulates the use of fertilizers, pesticides, veterinary medicines, feed and feed additives, and requires producers to keep production records.

Recent health scares caused by poisonous foods have made headlines in China.

A farmer fed his ducks Sudan IV, a cancer-causing industrial dye so the yolks of the bird's eggs would turn red which fetch higher prices.

The sale of turbot, a popular type of flatfish, has been banned after some were found to contain carcinogens caused by chemical-laden feed.

This summer dozens of people where hospitalized after eating undercooked snails that were laden with harmful parasites.

The report suggests building a data network that would allow people to input a food product's bar code via the internet, text messages or over the telephone and retrieve information on its quality and safety.

Editor: Donald

By: Source: China View website
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