China, NZ strengthen food safety

Updated: 2014-12-12 07:45

By Xinhua in Wellington(China Daily)

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The New Zealand government is hoping for a stronger alignment of food safety approaches with China after a visit by officials from the China Food and Drug Administration.

Food Safety Minister Jo Goodhew said after meeting the five officials on Thursday that the countries were strengthening their understanding of each other's food safety systems.

The CFDA officials are in New Zealand on the last leg of a 10-week scholarship program during which they are interning at quality and research organizations to see "New Zealand's food safety systems at work", Goodhew said in a statement.

"When the group return to China, they will take with them increased knowledge of New Zealand's regulatory practice, health claims, risk management, and the development and implementation of food standards," Goodhew said.

"We hope this program will lead to an increased understanding between both sides' regulators, and an alignment of approaches between China and New Zealand's food safety systems."

The program is an initiative developed under New Zealand's Ministry of Primary Industries and the CFDA's Food Safety Cooperation Arrangement signed in November 2013.

On Tuesday, a government inquiry into last year's global recall of dairy products over a false botulism scare issued a report that was deeply critical of dairy giant Fonterra's handling of the incident and took the ministry to task for failing to have a well-prepared crisis plan for a food safety incident.

It said Fonterra's efforts to trace the suspect were "seriously deficient" and it had failed to effectively coordinate with the ministry.

(China Daily 12/12/2014 page7)