China, New Zealand announce agreement to increase cooperation in food safety and quality; joint food safety commission to be established

BEIJING , November 1, 2013 () – China and New Zealand's food safety regulatory agencies on Friday inked an agreement to boost cooperation in food safety and quality, a move made by the nation frequently racked by food safety scandals after New Zealand-based Fonterra's baby formula recently became the center of yet another food scandal in China, according to the state media.

The Food Safety Cooperation Arrangement between the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) and the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) was signed by Liu Peizhi, Vice Minister of CFDA, and Carol Barnao, deputy director general of the MPI, in Wellington, Xinhua reported.

As per the agreement, a Joint Food Safety Commission will be established which will allow the CFDA and the MPI to meet every year to help create a better understanding on each other's food safety systems.

The agreement will promote cooperation and exchange of knowledge in areas of food safety, food standards, risk management and regulations, Nikki Kaye, New Zealand's Food Safety Minister, said in a statement.

"The agreement shows commitment and a willingness between New Zealand and China to work together on food safety programs," media quoted her as saying.

The minister further said that the agreement will also enable the CFDA and MPI to increase food safety, continue to upgrade the regulatory systems of both sides as well as boost bilateral ties.

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