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SAMR Optimizing National Food Standard Framework

Product standards will no longer contain hygiene requirements and many standards will change from mandatory standards (GB) to recommended standards (GB/T).
In a document issued by Standards and Technology Office (affiliated to SAMR) on May 6, 2019, China outlined new plans to optimize its current regulatory system, more specifically the refinement and development of better national product standards[1]. One key change will be the separation of food quality standards from food safety standards which are currently usually combined within single product standards.

Vision: a well-organized food regulatory system

China’s standardization work started early in 1962 and has undergone several phases of large-scale reform[2]. During the evolution of China’s food legislative and regulatory framework, China has released, developed, refined and reformed its national food safety and quality standards. Major milestone events like the implementation of the various iterations of China’s Food Safety Law drastically alter the lower level foundational principles underpinning China’s national food safety standards and necessitates development and implementation of new standards to replace outdated standards. However, generally speaking development of foundational legislation and regulation tends to precede subordinate national safety standards which are on a lower rung of China’s legal hierarchy and thus China’s national food standard framework is still a work in progress.

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