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07 Sep China Revises Law on Quality and Safety of Agricultural Products
China’s top legislature, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, passed the revised Law on Quality and Safety of Agricultural Products, as reported by Caixin on September 4. According to the revised law effective from January 1, 2023, government departments in charge of rural and agricultural affairs and market supervision authorities should cooperate to ensure the quality and safety of agricultural products. The amended law also strengthened the punishment of illegal actions. Under the new law, the sale of agricultural products containing excessive pesticides or veterinary drugs will be subject to a penalty between RMB50,000 and 100,000 (USD7,190 and 14,380) if the product value is no more than RMB10,000 (USD1,438), or a penalty between ten times and 20 times the product value if the product value exceeds RMB10,000. The above punishment standard accords with that of the Food Safety Law.
The revisions were intended to strengthen the connection between the new law and the Food Safety Law, for more comprehensive oversight of all stages related to food safety. Specifically, the new law includes farmers in its supervision, stipulating the responsibilities of agricultural enterprises and cooperatives for the quality and safety of farm products. As more and more agricultural products are sold online, the new law requires online selling platforms and people involved in cold chain logistics to be responsible for food safety. According to a random inspection by the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), 2.51% of the 2.37m batches of food products contained substandard samples in 1H22, inching up 0.17 percentage points YoY.