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Govts Held Accountable for Food Safety Violations

District and county governments in Beijing will be held responsible for any serious food safety violations in their areas, according to a regulation unveiled yesterday.

The Beijing Food Safety Administration said if its attention were drawn to any incident, it will investigate the concerned government departments in addition to food manufacturers.

Officials will be punished for improper management or dereliction of duty, it said, adding that they will also be held accountable for failing to "plug food safety loopholes in time" or for "inflicting severe consequences" by not dealing with illegal activities.

Special investigation teams will consist of food safety, disciplinary supervision and public security departments.

Procurators will be called in should there be any food-related fatalities.

Blame will be pinned on food manufacturers and sellers if they hide, lie or delay the reports of food safety accidents, said the regulation.

(China Daily August 1, 2007)

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