by Jayashree on  September 8, 2007 at 2:57 PM General Health News
APEC to Lay Emphasis on  Food  and Product Safety
Asia Pacific leaders meeting here are expected to issue a strong statement on food and product safety amid international concern over a spate of recalls of Chinese goods, official sources said Friday.

The leaders will declare that contaminated products are an emerging threat to 'human security' along with terrorism, pandemics and illegal drugs, according to a draft of the communique made available to AFP.

China has been hit by increasingly frequent reports of dangerous food and other products being seized or recalled overseas. They have ranged from seafood, noodles, fruit and vegetables to toothpaste, tyres and toys.

Chinese President Hu Jintao, on a state visit to Australia ahead of the weekend summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, said Thursday that 99 percent of China's food exports were safe.

He called product quality a global problem that Beijing would be willing to help tackle.

According to the draft, the APEC leaders will agree 'on the need to develop a more robust approach to strengthening food and consumer product safety standards and practices in the region.'

This should be done by using 'scientific risk-based approaches and without creating unnecessary impediments to trade.'

An APEC official told AFP that while the issue had long been a focus of the organisation, it had become 'even more significant given the recent spate of recalls of Chinese toys and other products.'

APEC accounts for nearly half of global trade, 56 percent of world economic output and 41 percent of its population.

Source: AFP

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