The World Bank has approved a $400 million loan to help China improve food safety management and reduce food safety risks.
The cost of foodborne diseases in terms of human capital productivity loss in China is estimated at more than $30 billion per year, almost 50 percent of the total economic burden of foodborne infections in Asia, according to the World Bank.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated food safety challenges in processing, packaging, and transporting agricultural products. Improvements in food safety standards are important for China’s trading partners and agricultural export competitiveness.
The China Food Safety Improvement Project will strengthen regulations, enforcement, and compliance along value chains including seafood, pork, fruit and vegetables consistent with global practices. The total cost is $735 million.
It will promote scientific and evidence-based enforcement of food safety regulations at the provincial and municipal levels using risk-based approaches.
The project will be implemented by the State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR) and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Areas (MARA) at the national and provincial levels. Food safety enforcement and supervision will be supported in Guangdong and Shandong provinces.
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