By Henry Williams.
Shanghai law makers are proposing a new crackdown to reduce the ever growing number of food scandals. Under the new legislation, still a reactionary measure and not really solving the underlying problem, firms caught using inedible or shanzai additives in food will be banned from operating in the city.
China has long had an unhappy relationship with food safety, with batteries, fake eggs, and pork dressed as beef making their way in to the food chain – and not just the human food chain.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
[T]he Shanghai Municipal Food Safety Committee said food companies found engaging in any of 11 types of harmful food-safety practices would be blacklisted and prevented from engaging in the food business, and barred from receiving subsidies from the government or benefiting from preferential government policies.
The effectiveness of any new law might already be undermined by existing legislation. Earlier this month, CCTV carried a report on suppliers to McDonalds and KFC using unapproved antibiotics and growth hormones, but the levels were within “safe” limits according to the Shanghai Municipal Food Safety Committee said an article in the South China Morning Post.
Sentencing in China is already stringent in cases related to food safety issues. In 2011, the Supreme Court recommended that those behind deaths should face the death penalty themselves but it does not seem to be much of a deterrent.
Tainted moon cakes in September poisoned hundreds, and left one child dead. Students were sent back to school (and not home to rest) after receiving intravenous fluids.