Tag Archives: safety

Chinas e cigarettes

David Barboza, China’s E-cigarette boom lacks oversight for safety, The New York Times, Dec. 13, 2014

Ninety percent of the world’s e-cigarettes are made in China. Experts warn, however, that poorly manufactured devices can vaporize heavy metals and carcinogens alongside the nicotine.

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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Thank you, but we prefer the salt monopoly

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, Thank you, but we prefer the salt monopoly, TeaLeafNation, November 20, 2014

China is the world’s biggest consumer of salt — one kitchen staple that has so far remained unadulterated by the country’s many food safety scandals. But now Chinese netizens are worried that is about to change.

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced on Nov. 20 that it will end the state monopoly on salt that has existed since 1950, according to a report by state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV). State media is touting the move as a step towards the market reforms that President Xi Jinping and the ruling Communist Party have pushed as China’s export-oriented economy slows.

Yet the country’s netizens are far from rejoicing at what appears to be a step to rein in the power of China’s hulking state-owned enterprises. Rather, the question roiling China’s online social spaces after CCTV’s announcement seemed to be what will happen when profit-hungry fraudsters, eager to make a quick buck, jump into the newly open salt market.

“There will soon be frequent cases of industrial salt” — far cheaper than table salt — “being mixed with edible salt,” went one popular comment on Weibo, China’s huge Twitter-like microblogging platform. Another user wrote, “Soon the media will be putting out articles called ‘How to tell industrial salt from table salt.'” The topic seemed to resonate; “salt monopoly abolished” became a top-trending hashtag on Weibo, and one related post on CCTV’s official Weibo account quickly garnered over 1,300 comments. One user commented cynically, “I’ve eaten all kinds of fake products; now I will finally have the opportunity to eat fake salt!”

Read the full text on the blog  TeaLeafNation or on Foreign Policy

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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Food safety management in China

Jiehong Zhou (Zhejiang University, China), Shaosheng Jin (Zhejiang University, China) (2013)  Food Safety Management in China. A Perspective from Food Quality Control System. Singapore: World Scientific; Hangzhou: Zhejiang University Press, 2013. xi + 228 pp. ISBN 978-981-4447-75-1  http://www.worldscientific.com/worldscibooks/10.1142/8689#t=aboutBook


Jakob A. Klein (2014). Review of ‘Food Safety Management in China: A Perspective from Food Quality Control System’ The China Quarterly, 217, pp 292-293. doi:10.1017/S0305741014000204.

Jakob A. Klein is lecturer in social anthropology at SOAS, University of London, and deputy chair of the SOAS Food Studies Centre. His publications include “Everyday Approaches to Food Safety in Kunming,” The China Quarterly, No. 214 (2013) and, co-edited with Yuson Jung and Melissa L. Caldwell, Ethical Eating in the Postsocialist and Socialist World (forthcoming, University of California Press).

Abstract of the book

In recent years, China has taken a number of effective measures to strengthen the supervision of food quality and safety, but food safety incidents still occur sometimes. The recurrence and intractability of such incidents suggest that, in addition to the imperfect supervision system, the greatest obstacle to China’s food quality safety management is that China’s “farm to fork” food supply chain has too many stages, the members on the supply chain have not form a stable strategic and cooperative relation, and on the other hand, during the transitional period, some practitioners lack social responsibility. Therefore, China’s food quality safety management and the establishment of food quality and safety traceability system should follow the development trend of international food quality and safety supervision, and should combine with the establishment of China’s agricultural industrialization and standardization, integrate China’s existing but isolated effective measures, such as the establishment of bases for the implementation of the system of claiming certificates or invoices, for the performance of Management Regulations for Pig Slaughtering and Quarantine Inspection in Designated Places, and for the conduct of World Expo, as well as the establishment of market access system, take into consideration the demand, the dynamic mechanism, and the performance of important measures of food supply chain members for food quality and safety control, as well as the difficulties and the deep-seated reasons in the implementation process of such measures.

To this end, this book chooses important agricultural products of vegetables, pork and aquatic products as the subjects investigated. From an “integrated” vertical perspective of the supply chain and according to the degree of industrialization of different products, focusing on the key links of quality and safety control of vegetables, pork and aquatic products, this book carries out empirical analysis of the construction of food quality and safety control system, such as HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) quality control system and food quality and safety traceability system, deeply analyzes and straightens out the dynamic mechanism and the performance of different business entities implementing the food quality and safety management system, as well as the bottleneck and deep-seated causes of promoting advanced experience of pilot areas and enterprises in China, and put forward ideas and suggestions of establishing long-term effective food quality and safety management system with regard to vegetables, pork, and aquatic products, which can provide scientific basis for the government to design food quality and safety management policies.

Sample Chapter(s)
Chapter 1: Overview of Food Safety Management in China (499 KB)


  • Overview of Food Safety Management in China
  • Safety of Vegetables and the Use of Pesticides by Farmers in China
  • Adoption of Food Safety and Quality Standards by China’s Agricultural Cooperatives
  • Implementation of Food Safety and Quality Standards: A Case Study of the Vegetable Processing Industry in Zhejiang, China
  • Adoption of HACCP System in the Chinese Food Industry: A Comparative Analysis
  • An Empirical Analysis of the Implementation of Vegetable Quality and Safety Traceability Systems Centering on Wholesale Markets
  • Investment in Voluntary Traceability: Analysis of Chinese Hog Slaughterhouses and Processors
  • Quality Perception, Safer Behavior Management and Control of Aquaculture: Experience of Exporting Enterprises of Zhejiang Province, China
  • Outlook for China’s Food Safety Situation and Policy Recommendations

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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Senior residents living in hostiles cities?

An old man practising calligraphy in Haikou, Goulard SébastienIn October 2013, a Hong Kong student, Qin Nan, defended a thesis entitled “Fear of crime experienced by older Chinese in urban China”1.

China has changed radically over the past 20 years, and some elderly Chinese may now feel lost in the new Chinese cities. These changes are both material and social. Many cities and neighbourhoods have been redeveloped. Senior residents may not recognise the city where they spent their entire lives. Chinese society has also evolved. People in their sixties or older have seen the end of a collective system and the adoption of individualistic values. The iron rice bowl has been broken. The eldest of these experienced the Cultural Revolution. They have suffered from hunger and other privations, and are now surrounded by commercial advertisements and live in cities where restaurants are everywhere2.

Chinese seniors also tend to live alone: their opportunities for social interaction are dwindling. Because of urban redevelopment, relocation and the end of danwei, many have lost contact with their former neighbours. Family ties, although still quite strong, are weakening/being undermined. Younger generations may have to move to other provinces for job opportunities.

Because of this evolution, seniors have lost some of their bearings. And so, they may feel vulnerable in this modern urban environment.

As noted by the thesis’ author, several studies conducted in Western countries show that seniors are more likely to feel threatened in an urban environment than younger people.

Qin Nan’s thesis explores the way this phenomenon occurs in China, based on the case of communities in Kunming.

According to her results, Chinese seniors’ fear of crime depends on several factors. Some (for example, female gender) also apply to Western countries, but others are unique to China. Thus, the author argues that perceived fear of crime is weaker in the case of seniors who adhere to Chinese traditional values of “harmony”.

As noted by the author, the Chinese population is getting older, and issues related to this ageing population will undoubtedly become apparent. In order to reduce the anxiety of senior residents, Qin Nan formulates several recommendations to China’s government. Firstly, assistance to seniors must be reinforced and social welfare policies need to be harmonised among Chinese provinces. The author points out the role of media and rumours in inflaming fear of crime and advises authorities to better communicate on crime incidence.

Another point regards education. According to the author, China’s “culture of harmony” needs to be promoted to the population in order to prevent fear of crime, and more specifically designed-for-seniors campaigns should be launched.

This thesis shows us how important it is to preserve certain cultural values that empower the weakest categories of the population.


  1. Qin, Nan (2013). Fear of crime experiences by older Chinese in urban China. Ph.D. thesis, University of Hong Kong. Retrieved 24 February, 2014, from http://hub.hku.hk/bitstream/10722/193150/1/FullText.pdf?accept=1 []
  2. see Lu Wenfu (陆文夫)’s excellent novel “The gourmet (mei shi jia, 美食家)” []

Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE - Nottingham Trent University)

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