SHANGHAI — China vowed Wednesday to crack down on contaminated and sometimes deadly food and drugs after a string of sensational revelations about the safety of Chinese products.
Already this year, tainted Chinese ingredients have prompted a massive recall of pet food in the United States. Mississippi and Alabama have banned catfish from China after tests found ciprofloxacin and enrofloxacin, antibiotics banned for use in the U.S.
China's State Council said the nationwide food safety crackdown would compel companies to adopt "standards used in food-importing countries ... and test products which will be used to make animal feed or food for humans."
It said all classes of food and drugs would be subject to more rigorous inspections, with an emphasis on securing the food supply chain and boosting food safety in the vast, mostly impoverished countryside.
In Washington, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach and Chinese Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong told two lawmakers Wednesday that they would work toward a mutual agreement to improve inspections and the overall safety of food products and drugs traded between the U.S. and China.
Chinese state media, meanwhile, said the country's disgraced former top drug regulator would go on trial on charges of taking bribes to approve untested medicine.