The State Council, China's Cabinet, held a specific gathering on food safety in Beijing on Tuesday. Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli, who is in charge of food safety, said at the meeting that although the authorities at various levels in food safety have strengthened their supervision last year, the situation remains severe and complicated, and deep-rooted problems have yet to be solved.
Zhang vowed to continue to strengthen food safety supervision to solve "dining table" pollution. He said the relevant authorities must regard food safety as an important mission as it concerns people's well-being.
According to the statement released at the end of the meeting, China will introduce some badly needed food safety standards, and integrate its standards with international ones, implement the rule of law in food safety and severely punish those who break the law. Food safety watchdogs will be held accountable for any dereliction of duty.
The issue drew attention from President Xi Jinping. Xi said in his instruction to the conference: "Improving food safety concerns the health and lives of more than 1.3 billion people in China, and we can never be too strict on the issue."
He urged authorities at all levels to adhere to "the strictest standards for the strictest supervision of food safety".
Premier Li Keqiang also urged local governments to ensure the integrity of the food chain and the improvement of their supervision. Improving food safety should start at the source and irregularities must be severely punished, he said.