China's Food Regulator Takes Measures to Better Supervise Infant Formula
Yicai Global
/SOURCE : Yicai
China's Food Regulator Takes Measures to Better Supervise Infant Formula

(Yicai Global) Feb.27 -- China has imposed stricter supervision over infant milk powder, which now shows a correspondingly stable increase in both quality and safety.

Baby formula -- an inferior breast milk alternative -- directly affects infant development and health. Infant formula quality and safety issues have always been the top priority of food supervision. The whole process from product sources, production, releases and sales must undergo strict control, Bi Jingquan, director of the Food Safety Office under the State Council and head of China's Food and Drug Administration(CFDA) said today at a State Council Information Office press briefing.

Bi noted that infant milk powder in China has seen a gradual improvement in quality and safety. In 2016, of 2,532 batches of infant formula milk powder picked for testing, 32 were sub-standard, or 1.3 percent of the total. Among these, 22 batches (0.9 percent) fell short of state food safety standards and thus posed safety risks. The other 10 batches (0.4 percent) failed due nonconformity with packaging rules by making prohibited claims, rather than because of safety hazards. Small and medium-sized enterprises produced almost all sub-standard samples, while those of most large enterprises passed muster.

The baby powder industry is pivoting from a filing to a registration system. Bi noted that the CFDA has instituted baby formula registration procedures per relevant provisions of the Food Safety Law. These extraordinary supervisory measures target special foods and the status of infant formula milk powder in China, focusing on such problems as excessive brand numbers and formulas and inappropriate labeling and advertising. The claimed functions of infant formula must withstand scientific testing, and express or implied misleading assertions, including 'intellect-developing' and 'immunity-fortifying,' are prohibited.

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