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Food Safety Law (2021).

Type of law
Date of original text

The aim of this Law is to ensure food safety and protect the physical health and life safety of the public. The Law consists of 154 Articles divided into 10 Chapters: General Provisions (I); Food Safety Risk Monitoring and Assessment (II); Food Safety Standards (III); Food Production and Trade (IV); Food Inspection (V); Import and Export of Food (VI); Handling of Food Safety Accidents (VII); Supervision and Administration (VIII); Legal Liabilities (IX); Supplementary Provisions.
As the fundamental law regulating food safety in China, the revised Law builds up the basic legal framework for food safety supervision and management. It introduces many new regulatory requirements. These include not only general requirements applicable to food and food additives, but also specific requirements for food-related products and other product categories (e.g., GM foods, health foods, infant and young children formula, formulated food for special medical purposes, etc.). It extends its regulatory scope to food storage and transportation. New requirements also are raised targeting food catering service providers.
The Law states that priority shall be given to prevention, risk management and full process control shall be implemented, the whole society shall participate, and a scientific and rigid regulatory system shall be established. The State Council shall establish a Food Safety Commission, with its functions prescribed by the State Council. The National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) along with China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) and quality inspection departments, will use the results of food safety risk evaluations as the scientific basis for establishing and amending Food Safety Standards and for implementing food safety supervision. according to Article 25 of the Law, food safety standards are compulsory standards. Except food safety standards, no compulsory standard for food may be formulated.
The Law further provides for: a food risk monitoring system to monitor food-borne diseases, food contamination and harmful factors in food; a food risk assessment system to conduct risk assessment on the biological, chemical and physical hazards in food and food additives; a food traceability system in food production and trading; a set of national safety standards which shall include limits of pesticides residues, use of food additives, nutrient content requirements, labelling requirements, hygienic requirements, etc. The use of all highly toxic pesticides is banned in specified agricultural products (e.g., vegetables, fruit and tea leaves, traditional Chinese herbal medicines). Producers and traders of genetically modified food must label the food prominently following the rules required by law.
In addition, the Law provides for: obligations of food producers and business operators in carrying out their activities; licensing requirements for food producers and business operators; the implementation of hazard analysis and critical control point system (HACCP) to improve safety management levels; food inspection activities; requirements for the import and export of food; handling of food safety accidents; food recall; legal liabilities; etc.
Regarding to online trading of food products, the Law mandates that third-party online food trading platform providers demand real-name registration by food traders on the platform, and clearly set forth the traders' responsibilities; the platform providers also have a duty to examine the licenses of food producers and traders where such licenses are applicable.
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Legislation Amendment
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