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Expert Warns Safety Issue in Dairy Industry

A Chinese economist has urged the country's dairy companies to pay more attention to the safety of dairy products, which has hindered further development of the country's dairy industry.

"Many safety issues relating to domestic dairy companies have been exposed in China in recent years," Zhan Yunhua, a researcher with the Development Research Center of the State Council, told the International Conference on Livestock Services in Beijing.

Zhang, quoting a survey of Chinese dairy consumers, said that about 44 percent of Chinese consumers doubt the quality of the dairy products and 45 percent do not believe dairy producers can have a better control over a safe dairy supply chain.

Zhang said the safety issue will have a great influence on the growth of China's dairy industry, and he urged the government to improve the food safety administration system to create a better environment for the domestic dairy companies.

Many Chinese dairy companies have applied for different kinds of food safety certificates in recent years, but sometimes these certificates are just for show and lack creditability, said Zhang.

The dairy industry has a bright future in China. It is expected that China's dairy output will rank third in the world by 2020, following India and the United States.

Currently, China's top three dairy giants, Yili Group, Mengniu Group and Bright Dairy and Food Group, have a 50 percent share of China's dairy market.

(Xinhua News Agency April 20, 2006)

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