Food safety watchdog unveils new rules

The Shanghai food safety watchdog has enacted a new regulation, making administration and reporting of cross-district food security cases easier to handle.

Several important changes have been made in the new rule, primarily making cooperation on supervision of food security between various government departments more feasible.

The Shanghai Food and Drug Administration has the responsibility to share the information with related departments and analyze the datum.

By adopting big data analysis, Shanghai FDA will be able to deal with cases much more efficiently. If the case is considered a food safety crime, criminal penalty will follow the administrative punishment.

The new rule also says that if the food safety case fits certain conditions, there is no need to seek permission from higher authority to start the investigation. By cutting down on the procedures, FDA can speed up the investigation process and limit possible losses.

The updated legislation also makes clear that the Market Supervision Administration of the local district, where the food crime happened, should take the responsibility to lead the joint investigation on the case.

If the Market Supervision Administration of the local district feels the incident did not happen under its jurisdiction, it should approach the FDA for arbitration.

For long, bickering among different government departments left cases unsolved for months, sometimes even for years.

With the enactment of new law, these kinds of problems will be largely reduced, and the common people can count on the government to solve food safety issues.

After the investigation is complete, the FDA and Market Supervision Administration should inform the media about the case, and take necessary measures like detaining the culprits or recalling food products.

Whistle-blowers, who report about food security problems, will be suitably rewarded to encourage more supervision from the public. With harsher penalty and overall supervision, food-related crime is expected to fall.

Residents can report or complain through the hotline number 12331.