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China Makes Food Safety Progress but Admits Problems Persist



However, the Chinese government acknowledged that the country still has a way to go to reach international standards. The officials said today that a four-month campaign to reduce illegal and potentially harmful pesticides and steroids has been successful.

Gao Hongbin, Vice Minister of Agriculture, told a press briefing the government had stopped the use of five toxic pesticides, and reduced the excessive application of approved pesticides, the VOA reported. He said similar progress has been made in reducing illegal steroids used in pig feed, and illegal toxins used to improve fish production. Nonetheless, he admitted that acceptable safety standards have not yet been achieved.

Gao said China still has many problems in food safety and this fact cannot be ignored. He indicated that the main problem is different levels of development and compliance with regulations in different parts of the country.

China came under international condemnation last year not only for tainted food exports ranging from toothpaste to pet food to fish, but also for dangerous toys. The incidents damaged the country's food safety image, and affected commerce.

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