On October 19 of this year, the State Council Legislative Affairs Office (SCLAO) issued a detailed elaboration for public comment of how the Food Safety Law is to be implemented. USCBC collected comments from member companies, and submitted a comment letter to SCLAO to voice members’ concerns. Due to time constraints, the comments were drafted only in Chinese.
Some of the concerns addressed by USCBC’s comment letter include:
- Calling for greater clarity in certain requirements and definitions so that legal expectations, requirements, and liabilities are clear.
- Requesting that international best practices be considered to utilize the knowledge and experience of foreign companies to provide safe food to Chinese consumers while being compliant at the same.
- Drawing attention to some areas where requirements in the implementation rules are more stringent than what is stipulated in the Food Safety Law. USCBC hopes that the Rules can interact seamlessly with the Food Safety Law, making it easier for US companies to understand and implement.
- For infant formula and foods for special medical purpose, USCBC encouraged policymakers to consider the comprehensive policy environment so that area-specific implementation rules are not contradictory and do not create compliance challenges for companies.
- Other concerns included food labeling, food re-packaging, GMO food, advertisement and trade secrets.
The comments we collected also echo the USCBC Food Safety Report, for which USCBC conducted more than 40 interviews in China and the United States with various stakeholders, including member companies and Chinese and US government officials. The report presents an overview of US companies’ responses to China food safety challenges and offers recommendations for improving the regulatory environment.