China’s Food and Drug Administration Admits Current Food & Drug Safety System In China is “Grim”

Asia Regulatory Roundup: China Calls Regulatory Situation ‘Grim’ (14 January 2014)
CFDA Admits to ‘Grim’ Food and Drug Safety Situation
China’s Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) has admitted the current food and drug safety situation in the country is “grim” and outlined how it intends to improve matters. CFDA plans to hire more staff and standardize training, although industry observers fear incomplete laws and resourcing shortfalls could undermine the initiatives.

The regulator has faced a string of safety scares over the past decade, from the contaminated heparin scandal to the alleged sale of out-of-date meat to fast food chains. CFDA says it knows it has a problem. “We must soberly recognize the current foundations of China’s food and drug safety are still weak, with new and old risks together creating a grim situation,” CFDA said in a statement seen by Reuters.

In response, CFDA plans to take a more proactive approach to safety. More unannounced inspections and random tests are planned. At the same time, CFDA will work to bring the quality of its workforce, legal structures and management methods up to the standards befitting a country that is set to become the world’s second largest healthcare market.

Observers have doubts about CFDA’s ability to improve. The fragmentation of supply chains poses problems for inspectors, while it also lacks an adequate legal framework to support some of its activities.

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