China vows to tighten up food and drug legislation

China's central government has pledged to step up monitoring and enforcement activity to safeguard the food and pharmaceutical supply chains.

The China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) has published a wide-ranging strategy document - setting out its plans for the 2015-2020 period and focusing on the development of a new legal framework for food and drug regulation.

That will include further reform of the agency's oversight and approval processes, including standards setting, inspections, enforcement (including ring-fenced funding) and the setting of stricter penalties for infringement of regulations. The document (in Chinese) also covers the strengthening of "grassroots" food and drug law enforcement.

Among the plans is a commitment to strip out or reform outdated laws by the end of 2018 and to have all new legislation in place by 2020. The CFDA also says it wants to involve other stakeholders in the formation of legislation, for example by improving the public comment mechanisms, and move towards an 'open government' system in which transparency is the norm, not the exception.

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