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Survey: Rural Residents Show Concern on Food Safety

Up to 86.1 percent of rural residents in China considered food safety a major concern when shopping, according to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Commerce.

The figure is 28 percentage points higher than a year ago, and merely 11.1 percentage points lower than that of urban counterparts. The survey covered 9,305 residents in 22 provincial areas.

The ministry said 20.6 percent of the rural population would buy low-priced goods rather than those with famous brands, down from 36.4 percent in 2006.

The ministry said rural residents often fall victim to low-priced, shoddy products, largely down to lower income and lax supervision.

China has intensified quality control checks for urban manufacturers after scandals involving poisonous chemicals in export goods like pet food, toys and seafood.

In the first 10 months of 2007, more than 2,800 food factories in China's rural areas were demolished for making fake and substandard products, according to the State Administration for Industry and Commerce.

More than 20,000 tons of substandard food products were taken off the shelves in rural markets and stores, the administration said.

The survey found 86.6 percent of rural consumers and 83.3 percent of urban ones are satisfied with food safety.

(Xinhua News Agency March 22, 2008)

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