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FDA will reward information on bad food, drugs

PEOPLE who report useful tips on illegal food and drug preparation could receive a reward of up to 50,000 yuan (US$7,325), the highest on China's mainland for supplying such information, the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration said yesterday.

The policy will be implemented for two years from May 1. After that authorities will probably increase the reward, officials said.

People can receive the reward between 10,000 to 50,000 yuan if reporting medium and large-scale illegal production of medicines, medical equipment, health tonics and cosmetics, using unsafe raw materials or adding illegal ingredients in such products and purposely selling drug, food and cosmetics with illegal ingredients.

The FDA said it would handle the information and reward confidentially. The administration is also willing to deal with whistle-blowers anonymously and still give a reward.

People can report incidents by calling the FDA hotline on 962727, faxing 6355-8600 or visiting the Website You can also send complaints by mail or personally to its complaint reception center at 288 Henan Road S.

"We can receive tips in Chinese and English," said FDA official Du Bing.

The FDA said yesterday that its inspections running up to next weekend will target cakes, cooked food and products with the most complaints, such as beef, which is sometimes injected with water.

About 70 percent of local beef come from the five major wet markets, so the authorities will cooperate with these markets to more closely supervise beef dealers, which will be banned if bad beef is detected twice.

FDA officials said they are closely monitoring products that recently have been involved in scandals around the country, including asbestos-tainted baby talcum powder and clenbuterol in pork.

"We will take action if detecting similar products in the city," Du said.

The Shanghai FDA discovered 10,602 cases involving unsafe food and drugs last year and fined offending businesses 25.82 million yuan.

There were 17 mass food poisoning cases last year, affecting 467 people. In 2007 there were 13 cases with 326 victims, the FDA said.


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