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February 29, 2012

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Go big, city says, to fight food woes

MAJOR risk factors in the local food supply are legion - contamination from microorganisms, pollution from heavy metals and chemicals, pesticide and veterinary drug residue and illegal food additives.

At a food-safety conference yesterday, local officials said big companies' large-scale production could help ensure food safety because most of the risks come from small plants.

"So far, 70 percent of vegetables grown in the outskirts are small-scale production and 80 percent of local food producers are small companies, imposing difficulties for monitoring and supervision," said Vice Mayor Shen Xiaoming. "The recently detected tainted bean sprouts is a typical case of a small plant adopting an illegal food additive."

He said Shanghai has several thousand small plants producing bean sprouts.

"The city needs a daily supply of 300 tons of bean sprouts, which can be offered by three big companies," he said.


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