Shanghai to enact strict new food safety laws: Xinhua

 
Chinese consumers sample food from Taiwan during a Taiwanese food fair as the demanded for imported food becomes more common in Beijing. Increasingly anxious Chinese consumers are regularly hit with food scares ranging from cancer-causing toxins found in cooking oil to food items that are expired or contain dangerous chemicals and additives. -- PHOTO: AFP

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - Shanghai will introduce tough new laws to blacklist firms that flout food safety laws, a significant move in China's consumer hub to end the food scandals that in recent years have killed children.

Under the proposed law, firms caught using banned substances in food, producing food from inedible ingredients, or illegally making, selling or using banned food additives, will be banned from operating in Shanghai, the official Xinhua news agency reported late on Wednesday, quoting city officials.

China's food safety record is abysmal. Frequent media reports refer to cooking oil being recycled from drains, carcinogens in milk, and fake eggs. In 2008, milk laced with the industrial chemical melamine killed at least six children and sickened nearly 300,000.

On Monday, Shanghai's food safety authority said the level of antibiotics and steroids in Yum Brands Inc's KFC chicken was within official limits, but found a suspicious level of an antiviral drug in one of the eight samples tested.

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