Alexandria, Va. (Feb. 10, 2014) — In the opening presentation of FoodWatch 2014 hosted by the Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI), Rick Gilmore, Chairman and Founder of Global Food Safety Forum, described the workings of China’s food safety regulatory system and the growing collaboration with FDA.
“The Chinese government clearly recognizes the critical role food safety plays for China’s reputation as an international food supplier and its importance to the Chinese consumer. The gaps and glitches are less a matter of foot dragging and more a matter of political and economic reform.”
Gilmore laid out the regulatory organization for food safety oversight of domestic and export product, originating in China. He noted that the reformed system has been streamlined to reduce redundancy and the opportunity to create power fiefdoms at the provincial and central government levels.
“FDA itself has had a catalytic effect on food safety reform within China and the level of collaboration between FDA and its self-styled new counterpart, CFDA, has broadened and deepened considerably. The missing link lies with compliance.”
In his concluding remarks, Gilmore noted that “it is unfair and unrealistic to point fingers at China as if it was the sole transgressor of food safety standards and ethical conduct. Nonetheless, unless and until China food and feed manufacturers come to appreciate the benefits of food safety compliance over the costs of violations and maintenance of low grade technologies, the risks to the global supply chain will only grow over time.” www.globalfoodsafetyforum.org