President Hu Jintao said Monday China would step up efforts to improve food safety and prevent the spread of animal diseases, in a speech opening the Communist Party's five-yearly Congress.
"We will intensify efforts to prevent animal and plant epidemic diseases and improve the quality and safety of agricultural products," Hu said.
Later in the speech, he said: "We must ensure food and drug safety."
The comments came as Hu reviewed the party's performance over the past five years and spelled out priorities for the next half-decade.
China has struggled to stamp out livestock disease outbreaks in recent years, including bird flu and a pig disease that has sparked a major pig cull.
It also has been embarrassed by a string of scandals involving unsafe food and other export products this year.