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September 26, 2011

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Food safety tip-off reward raised

SHANGHAI is looking to increase rewards paid to people who report breaches in food safety.

The sum paid out will not be less than 500 yuan (US$78) and there is no upper limit, the city's food safety authorities said over the weekend.

The money will come from the city's revenue, according to the Shanghai Food Safety Commission.

If members of the public can name the people they are reporting and can help officials investigate the case, they can receive between 2 and 5 percent of the money involved. Those unable to help the investigation will receive between 1 and 2 percent.

Officials are keen to hear about the illegal addition of prohibited chemicals and non-edible substances, recycling expired food, excessive use of food additives and the use of swill oil.

The commission said people reporting food safety concerns must not blackmail, threaten or cheat the people involved.

Officials are currently seeking the public's views on the proposed reward system. The draft document is available at the official website of Shanghai Food and Drug Administration, but only in Chinese.

The reward system is intended to help improve the city's food safety condition.

In recent years, food safety scandals, such as melamine-polluted baby formula and recycled expired buns, have hit consumer confidence in domestically produced food, officials said.

In 2007, the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration issued a regulation saying reports of illegal food production could lead to rewards of up to 50,000 yuan.

However, this proved unsuccessful, with claims the sum wasn't enticing enough to the high-ranking company managers who most likely have information.


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