China will accelerate the creation of agricultural standards to improve safety and quality, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on July 19.
For example, the ministry will create or revise 1,000 standards for maximum allowable pesticide residue in agricultural products, and 100 standards limiting the residue of drugs used in animal husbandry, Guang Defu, chief for agricultural product quality and safety supervision at the ministry, said at a news conference.
The ministry will continue to create new standards and revise existing ones to improve the quality and safety of agricultural products in China, he said, adding it will abolish national regulations that go against developing environmentally friendly agriculture.
The ministry will continue to promote the development of organic products that use no artificial fertilizers or pesticides, and encourage the use of new technologies to promote standardized, green agriculture, Guang said.
“Standards are the basis for evaluating the safety and quality of agricultural products. They are the basis of supervision and law enforcement,” he said. “Standardization of agricultural production in China keeps improving. The existing standards for residue limits for pesticides and animal drugs cover most kinds of those products used in China.”
The ministry has adopted more than 6,600 national agricultural standards, including 4,140 for pesticide residues and 1,548 for animal drug residues, the ministry said.
“China’s standards for safety and quality of agricultural products are consistent with international standards,” Guang said. “But gaps still remain with people’s increasing demand, and more efforts are needed to ensure food safety.”
In the first half of the year, 97.1 percent of major agricultural products, including grains, vegetables, fruits, poultry and fish available on the domestic market, met national standards, according to ministry surveys.
However, irregularities in the use of pesticides and antibiotics－such as overuse or using banned pesticides and antibiotics－still exist, Guang said.
The ministry will launch a series of campaigns this year to fight violations and irregularities in agricultural production such as the illegal use of antibiotics and pesticides, and adopt zero tolerance for food safety violations, he said.