China Passes New Food Safety Law to Protect Public Health
On February 28, 2009, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress passed the Food Safety Law of the PRC (the "FSL"), effective June 1, 2009. The existing Food Hygiene Law of the PRC will be superseded by the FSL. The FSL contains 104 Articles in 10 Chapters, providing more detailed and stricter rules for activities relating to food production, processing, delivery, catering services and use of food additives and other food-related products. It also provides protocol for the official regulation of safety of food, food additives and food-related products within China. The FSL provides for administrative penalties of up to RMB100,000 or 10 times the price of the concerning food for violations of the FSL. Consumers may make claims against food producers or sellers that fail to comply with FSL food-safety standards for damages of up to 10 times the price of the food in question, in addition to compensation for actual losses. The FSL was promulgated in response to growing public concern over food safety in the PRC, largely due to the Sanlu milk powder incident that occurred in 2008.
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