China’s Economy - January 2015
Linh La & Elizabeth Johnson
Table of Contents
Introduction Page 3
Fundamental Problems Page 3 & 4
Policies and Legislations Page 4 & 5
Concern Page 7
Environmental Issues Page 8
Health Issues Page 8 & 9
Recommendations Page 9 & 10
Conclusion Page 11 & 12
Work cited Page 13 & 14
Food safety and food security are both a problem that China is still trying to resolve. Though great economic strides in the past 30 years, food safety is a prevalent issue that is affecting the whole country. Discourse between the urban and rural areas in China prevent governmental policies from being successful because of the challenge to keep up with the development of the cities and the lack of development in the rural communities. Financial and human resource problems arise from trying to address the1 regional diversities and are unable to enforce and advance national standards, causing deep distrust in the safety of the food throughout the country. In this paper we will look at the fundamental problem within the system, the history of policies and legislations, concerns, environmental issues, health concerns, and recommendations for the future.
Since China is the world’s largest nation with more than 1.3 billion people, the demand for food is relatively larger than many other countries in the world. In 1978, China established a policy of self-sufficiency in food. As productivity in agriculture sector increased, the country managed to achieve the goal by the end of last century.2 After joining WTO in 2001, China became one of the biggest net exporters of agricultural products. However, producing food at acceptable levels of quality and an affordable price is one of the biggest problems China has been facing. Nowadays, no one can be certain that any food or drug is being produced safe, from infant formula to chicken eggs.3 Many Chinese consumers are much more cautious about what they eat and how the food is being produced. Overall, Chinese food safety causes number of different fundamental problems and it might take some time to find a solution for this issue.
With a fast growth in Chinese economy, people pay more attention on their health by increasing the demand for better quality food. However, there is a huge gap between income classes as well as people who live in urban versus rural area. People with a higher income quite often try to buy better products for their family, while people who don’t have enough money tend to not care too much for the quality. In addition, the food processing industry in China is still dominated by small processors with low financial and technical barriers. Under many different expensive costs and a massive tax burden, manufactures are forced to compete dishonestly in order to keep up with the growing pace of the economy. One of these problems has been identified as corruption in government officials because the Chinese government is heavily decentralized.
Policies & Legislation
Public policies and legislation have made great progress in the past 50 years, but there is still a lot to be done. After the first serious food safety issue4 in the 1950’s, China’s government has put great effort into trying to regulate contamination issues across the country. In 1965, China declared their first food safety law called Regulations on the Administration of Food Hygiene. It was directed at State owned food producers and focused on securing food across the country. This was the focus of the law because the Three-Year Famine had just ended. However, because of the collapse of the legal system, the law failed. By the 1970’s all food production factories were accumulated and operated by the State. In 1979, the