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270,000 complaints on food, pharmaceuticals in 2013

BEIJING, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Chinese authorities received nearly 270,000 complaints about food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and medical equipment last year, an official with the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) said on Monday.

Most complaints were about unlicensed production, advertisements, unauthorized distribution, substandard products, and banned additives, said Liu Pei, SFDA center director.

Most complaints (82 percent) were collected via hotline 12331, launched in 2012 but also through websites, letters and personal visits.

Complaints about food and pharmaceutical safety have been on the rise in recent years, reflecting growing public awareness of their rights and interests, Li said.

Food and drug safety is a sensitive issue for Chinese consumers. The food and drug industry has been hit by a number of scandals in the past few years.

Public trust in domestic dairy companies was eroded in 2008, when melamine-tainted milk killed six infants and made thousands of others ill.

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