China aims to put more teeth into its food safety law by imposing stiffer penalties for offenders and establishing a more stringent supervision system, Xinhua News Agency reported.
The National People’s Congress has passed on first reading a bill amending the Food Safety Law, which provides tougher penalties for violators.
Under the bill, producers and sellers of toxic food can face fines of up to 30 times the value of their products, up from 10 times in the current law, and have their licenses revoked, the report said.
Consumers can demand compensation worth three times the loss they suffer from substandard food. The law currently allows compensation equivalent to 10 times of the price of food. As substandard food can be very cheap but cause serious health problems and great financial losses, consumers expect to get higher compensation if the revision is adopted.
The bill also has provisions to punish internet platforms where substandard food is sold. Operators of such online outlets will be subject to bear joint liabilities should they fail to provide the real names and contact information of producers violating regulations.
Meanwhile, landlords of production sites who know that illegal activities are being undertaken on their property, will have their illegal income seized and face fines of up to 200,000 yuan (US$32,100), the report said.
Administrative penalties, such as demotions and dismissals, will be imposed on government officials who fail to respond to food safety emergencies. They will also be held responsible for cover-ups on food safety violations. Abuse of power and neglect of duty for personal gain will face criminal penalties, it said.
This is the first attempt to revise the law since it took effect in 2009.
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