Top EU Health Official to Visit China to Insist on Food Safety

by VR Sreeraman on Sep 1 2007 8:42 PM

The European Union's top health official is to visit China next week to press senior government officials about improving food safety, the European Commission said Friday.

During the September 6-14 visit, EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou is to meet Vice Premier Wu Yi and other senior ministers to discuss "practical steps" for improving food safety such as training, exchanging information and technical cooperation.

"Chinese products account for the largest number of food safety alerts to our rapid alert system, and this trend is growing," Kyprianou said in a statement.

"While this partly reflects the volume of trade, it is also symptomatic of a number of problems we have encountered which need to be addressed," he added.

Kyprianou is also to meet Agriculture Minister Sun Zhengcai, Health Minister Chen Zhu, and head of the agency for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), Li Changjiang.

Separately, EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes, Europe's top antitrust regulator, is to visit China on September 3-4 for cooperation talks following the adoption this week of an anti-monopoly law this week in China.