First, we’re promised better tap water and now we’re getting safer food too? Who is this body of authority and what have they done with our government? All joking aside, multiple government departments, including the Ministry of Health, Commerce, and Inspection and Quarantine, have come together and pledged to transmit information about food safety issues more efficiently to the public.
The newly joint released document says it will make information dissemination about food safety concerns a routine matter and instead of having the people rely on media reports, news about general food safety, test results, product alerts, and any potential crisis will be publicized by the Ministry of Health itself through its website.
It’s superb news since we at Shanghaiist don’t particularly feel like eating cat meat (at least, unknowingly) and we were deeply horrified at the tainted milk debacle in 2008, as most of the world was.
The change comes on the heels of the food safety law, which finally gave Chinese consumers their rights. Information regarding food safety was particularly difficult for the public to access before the law and usually came through media sources that sensationalized stories or that sometimes were completely unfactual.
“In many cases, from milk powder to the crayfish, false news was occasionally delivered to consumers and this hurt public confidence in China’s food safety and the government’s credibility,” said a spokesman for the Ministry of Health.
We applaud this move and we’re not trying to be a Debbie Downer, but on the flip side, if the information from the departments is going to be subjected to as much heavy censorship as most other news, it could be just another hollow promise.