Time to get tough on food fraud
Updated: 2011-05-10 16:25
Comment on “The recipe of China's food safety crisis” (China Daily website on May 9, 2011)
The fight against food fraud must be taken on two fronts.
First, penalties must be greatly enhanced, including death and life imprisonment! A fine is not enough deterrent, as the author quite rightly stated; as long as the profit is larger than the fine, the incentive is there to defraud.
Second, there must be strict enforcement! Easier said than done here; lack of motivation and rampant corruption make enforcement a big joke! There are many news stories on our local TV of illegal backyard food producers who have been operating for a very long time, breaking all the rules of sanitation and additives, right under the noses of the enforcement officers who only jump into action when the stories broke on TV, quite often after the culprits had disappeared.
This is the sad state of affairs; no wonder many continue to break the food laws, knowing full well they are not likely to be caught; and even if they are caught at some stage, the profits they have made would be enough to pay the fines many times over.
The government should take a hard look at how their food enforcement departments work. Everyone down the line from the top to the bottom must be held accountable. Harsh punishment for those who failed in their duty should be meted out.
Two-Pronged Fight on China Daily website
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