Several ministry-level departments, including those for education, commerce and natural resources, have responded recently to issues of public concern.
College students to receive health education
University students in China will receive regular training on infectious prevention and control, according to a guideline published on Feb 15.
The guideline, jointly released by the Ministry of Education and the National Health Commission, said university students should receive at least an hour of health training and education each year, and that freshmen should receive such instruction in the first month of the first semester.
Universities must also ensure that students and school staff receive regular physical examinations and maintain health records. They are also urged to report any confirmed or suspected cases of infectious diseases to local health authorities and take necessary preventive and control measures following guidance from health agencies.
The guideline also highlighted the importance of ensuring safe drinking water and environmental hygiene for students.
Plan aims to reduce incidence of tooth decay
The National Health Commission has launched a plan to improve oral health over the next six years that includes measures to boost oral health education and reduce sugar consumption by children and adults.
The plan urges shops in primary and middle schools and nurseries to restrict sales of sugar-laden beverages and snacks and calls on school canteens to offer less sweetened beverages and sugar-rich foods. The promotion of parents’ oral health knowledge will be a priority, and more will be done to reinforce the knowledge and skills of those responsible for the feeding of infants.
Food manufacturers will be encouraged to promote the consumption of “reduced sugar” or “sugar-free” foods through appropriate labeling, and more measures will be adopted to help consumers learn how to identify added sugar in ingredient labels. The plan sets the goal of cutting the incidence of tooth decay among 12-year-olds from 34.5 percent in 2016 to under 30 percent by 2025.
Direct selling approvals, registrations suspended
The Ministry of Commerce said on Feb 14 it has suspended registrations and approvals of direct-selling enterprises as it beefs up efforts to protect the interests of consumers.
Gao Feng, a spokesman for the ministry, told a news conference that it is also working with other government department to enhance oversight of the health food market.
He said the ministry will improve the regulation system, tighten market access and speed up the building of a credit-based monitoring system for those engaged in direct selling.
Local authorities investigated Quanjian Nature Medicine Technology Development, a health products company based in Tianjin, in December after it was accused of making exaggerated claims in advertisements and being involved in a pyramid scheme.
Map printers, importers, exporters told to obey law
Chinese authorities will step up regulation of the import and export of maps, according to a notice published on Feb 16.
The notice, jointly released by the Ministry of Natural Resources and three other departments, said incorrect maps will mislead the international community about the Chinese government’s position on its territory, causing severe damage to the national interest and the government’s image.
Map printers and importers and exporters should conduct their operations in accordance with the law, the notice said.
It added that the authorities will step up the enforcement of laws targeting unqualified printers of maps and those governing export and import procedures for such products.