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USA Today reports this morning that the Chinese government “has closed 180 food factories after inspectors found industrial chemicals being used in products from candy to seafood,” and noted that “the closures came amid a nationwide crackdown on shoddy and dangerous products launched in December that also uncovered use of recycled or expired food.”

The attitude of the Chinese government seems to have changed, with current reports saying that officials are describing the cases as being systemic, while in the past they have said that the safety problems could be traced to a few rogue operators.

However, international pressure on the Chinese government has been increasing, and the authorities there appear to believe that it is only through a serious and public quality control campaign that the nation’s export industry can be protected.
KC's View:
When I was in China last week discussing food safety with a number of industry executives, the general feeling seemed to be that the Chinese government is very serious about improving its reputation, and that its attempts should not be seen as cosmetic.