China Admits Product Safety Still Needs Work

Chief of a special Cabinet-level panel says officials must try harder to resolve product safety problems, especially at lower levels that oversee manufacturing.

BEIJING (AP) — Officials must try harder to resolve China's product safety problems, especially at lower levels that oversee manufacturing, the chief of a special panel says.
In a meeting to evaluate the progress of a four-month nationwide safety campaign that began in August, Vice Premier Wu Yi said a few results were apparent, but there was still room for improvement.
''There are only three months left, but the task is still arduous,'' said Wu, who leads a Cabinet-level panel on product quality and food safety. Her remarks from the Sept. 27 meeting were posted Monday on the government's Web site.
The panel's formation was one of China's significant steps to boost its image as a safe exporter after its products — from toothpaste to seafood to toys — were found to contain potentially deadly chemicals.
Recalls and bans have resulted, dealing a been a major blow to China's reputation.
''Leaders at all levels ... should consider this campaign their current urgent task,'' Wu said.
She said there should be stronger systems of responsibility and tracking, tighter supervision and stepped-up inspections.
''The foundation of this campaign is at the grass-roots level, the achievements will be shown at the grass-roots level and the accomplishment of this task relies on the grass-root level,'' Wu said.
Officials need to ''step up the guidance and examination ... so as to guarantee the implementation of the task,'' she said.
Wu highlighted actions taken by Guangdong and Jiangsu provinces, saying they had increased supervision measures and ''made full checks on toys made for export.''
U.S. toy giant Mattel Inc. in recent months issued global recalls involving millions of Chinese-made toys with lead paint and potentially hazardous parts.
More in Global