Chinese infant formula heavily regulated under new food safety law

Publish time: 17th September, 2015      Source:
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September 17, 2015



Chinese infant formula heavily regulated under new food safety law




Infant milk formula will be heavily regulated under an amended food safety law in China, which will come into effect on October 1, as part of an effort restore consumer confidence in the domestic dairy industry.



Under the amended law, infant formulamanufacturers will be prevented from using one formulation to produce multiple products. They will also be required to register the milk formula with the food and drug regulator, whereas in the unamended law the firms only need to ensure that their formulas are on record.



Producers will now also have to test every batch of their product, conduct regular internal inspections and submit reports to regulators.



According to, there are more than 1,900 varieties of baby formula available in China, with each company having around 20 varieties. In contrast, firms in other countries produce and sell only two or three varieties.



The Chinese Food and Drug Administration had noted that some producers were creating new formulas for the sake of marketing.






Industry analysts said the amended law would likely result in smaller manufacturers exiting the industry and, thus, alleviate food safety concerns associated with some domestic manufacturers and brands.



China enacted the food safety law in 2009, a year after the infant formula produced by the leading dairy firm in north China, the Sanlu Group, was found to contain melamine, causing the death of six babies and the illness of thousands of others.



Consumers shunned local infant milk formulas and imports from such countries as Australia, New Zealand and Germany became in demand.



It is expected that in the future, the restrictions under the amended law would eventually apply as well to manufacturers of imported infant formula.



Violators of the revised law face heavier punishment. Imprisonment of up to 15 days has been added to previous penalties such as fines and revocation of certificates. --Rick Alberto