International Food Safety Standards: Catalysts for Increased Chinese Food Quality?

Søren Kjeldsen-Kragh, Lu Wencong


During the last 10-15 years the question about food safety has increasingly been a topic of great concern nationally and internationally. Traditionally there has been a conflict of interest between the developed countries with higher food safety standards and the developing countries with lower food safety rules. As long as adequate international rules persist the view of standards as barriers should be replaced by the view of standards as catalysts for increased food quality. This article looks at the food safety issue in China, the largest developing country. The Chinese exports of food products have been confronted with trade restrictions because the products did not comply with the high food standards in the USA, the EU and Japan. These difficulties have contributed to a greater concern in China about the quality of the food products. In the last ten years a series of changes in the rules and in the administration have taken place. It is a complicated task because it touches the whole food chain. The article tries to cast light on these important questions. What have been the consequences of inadequate food safety regulations in China? What have been done until now to improve the food quality standards in China? What further initiatives should be taken to improve the situation in the future?


Food safety, import restriction, product standards, food quality, competitiveness.

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Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies
ISSN (print): 1395-4199, ISSN (online): 2246-2163

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