chapter  11
18 Pages

Food Safety Incidents of Concern in 2011 in Chinese Mainland and a Brief Review

In Chapter 5, food safety risks in China during 2006-2012 were assessed, and the actual state of food safety risks was analyzed to provide a panoramic description of the real changes of food quality and safety in China, with the conclusion that China’s food safety has been relatively safe. During that time, the food safety situation was generally stable and continued to

gradually improve through 2011. However, some food safety incidents of concern still occurred in mainland China in 2011. During the 21st Meeting of the Standing Committee of the 11th National People’s Congress on June 29, 2011, the inclusion of food safety, such as financial security, grain security, energy security, and ecological safety, was proposed in the “national security” system. is indicated that the issue of food safety was becoming one of the most important focuses in China and was considered to be a threat to national security. In-depth exploration of the deep-seated causes of major food safety incidents that occurred in China will not only help the government to strengthen food safety supervision and the society to understand the truth and harm of food safety incidents, but also help food producers and traders to better understand the situation and identify preventive measures.*

On December 10, 2011, Food & Beverage Online summarized and published 24 influential food safety incidents that occurred in China in 2011 (Food & Beverage Online 2011), which will be covered in this chapter. In addition, this chapter focuses on select influential food safety incidents from the related media reports, such as heavy metal pollution, tainted Chinese chives, exploding watermelons, and counterfeit green pork, as well as controversies regarding food safety standards of widespread concern. e primary aim of this chapter is to analyze these food safety incidents and controversies on food safety standards of public concern.†

Although the major food safety incidents exposed by the media have complex causes, they can be classified by the most important causes, including environmental pollution, excessive residues of agricultural chemicals such as pesticides and veterinary drugs, microorganisms, microbial toxins and parasites, illegal or improper use of food additives, use of nonfood raw materials, use of shoddy and false certification, and false advertising.