labels: foods / beverages, trade
ASEAN, China vow increased cooperation in food safety news
31 October 2007
Mumbai: China and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) have agreed to alert each other of food safety and illegal trade to clamp down on unsafe products, Malaysian health minister Chua Soi Lek said.

Malaysia maintains stringent vigil on food imported from China following a spate of recalls and adverse publicity over China-made products, he said on the sidelines of a China-ASEAN ministerial meeting on food safety initiated by Beijing.

"They don''t mind because they are confident that 99 per cent of their products are safe," he said.

Malaysia had raised the monitoring of China food imports to the highest level and rejected 18 consignments of largely preserved food between January and August this year.

"This was only a small amount considering we import $700 million worth of food from China," said Chua.

"Malaysia is supportive of this effort to strengthen the safety of food imports and exports because it is very important for trade and social stability," Chua said.

The meeting ended with an eight-point Nanning Declaration to enhance co-operation between ASEAN and China as the two sides move to form the world''s most populous free trade area by 2010.

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ASEAN, China vow increased cooperation in food safety