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China officials to study food safety from West

Leading food manufacturers, academics and the US government will be working with a top level Chinese delegation over the next few weeks as part in an international effort to promote global food safety, according to

The two dozen senior Chinese Government officials kicked off a three-week food safety tour across two continents this week as part of the initiative that aims to show how to boost food safety through an integrated approach.

The Global Food Safety-China Program (GFS-CP) will be focussing on how industry, scientists and governments must work together if a food safety system is to be effective.

The mission comes as the emergence of a string of food contamination scares in China – from tainted meat, milk and even buns - have once again raised serious concerns over safety standards in the country’s vast processing sector.

The programme is being led by Kevin Walker, a food safety and veterinary medicine professor at Michigan State University (MSU), in the US.

Between now and the end of the month, the Chinese group will learn first-hand about the application of science-based food safety standards from close to 100 experts on visits to Nestlé’s headquarters in Switzerland, the Parisian head offices of Danone and the Hormel Foods corporate office in the US state of Minnesota.

The Sino delegation will also visit the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), as well as the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and the European Commission’s DG Sanco to study capacity building.

Next week, the group will travel to Washington DC to look at animal health before going onto Minneapolis to discuss food safety processes through facility tours and panel debates with industry leaders from Cargill, General Mills, Danone and McDonald's.

The final leg of the program, at MSU, will be a discussion on collaborative issues between the federal government, state government and business in terms of partnerships, research, education and training. The programme will wind up with discussions on how best to apply practices back in China. -- Source: