Compulsory food safety liability insurance to be launched in Shanghai

Food safty issue, Ai Chi-HanIn 2003, companies in Fuyang, Anhui, used poor quality milk powder, which led to several incidents of infant illnesses and deaths. In May 2013, farmers used highly toxic pesticides on ginger, leading to the outcry over poisoned ginger. People in China have been wary of China’s food safety problem. In February 2014, the head of Food and Drug Administration of Shanghai Yan Zuqiang (阎祖强) revealed that a compulsory food safety liability insurance will soon be launched in Shanghai1.

The business fields involved in the compulsory liability insurance include dairy product, baby food, cooking oil and other major food businesses, as well as large food wholesalers and supermarkets. If another food safety scandal breaks out, this insurance can help protect the consumers’ interest by providing claims settlement.

“Shanghai food safety information traceability management approach” draft《上海市食品安全信息追溯管理办法草案》has been included in the legal consideration list to be discussed and, hopefully, will be passed in the near future2. However, the compulsory food safety liability insurance is still a passive action in terms of protecting consumer rights. A more active way is for the government to take the initiative on inspecting production and ensuring the quality and safety of food in China.

  1. 2014 Nian qi shanghai tuiguang shipin anquan zeren xian, http://big5.chinairn.com/news/20140224/123625537.html, accessed on 24 February 2014 []
  2. Ben shi jinnian quanmian tuiguang shi an qiangzhi xian, http://xmwb.news365.com.cn/ms/201402/t20140222_1795462.html, accessed on 24 February 2014 []

Chi-Han Ai

Ph.D. candidate of EHESS ( École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris) focusing on regional economic development in China and Taiwan.

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