On May 16, 2014 the news provider Forbes published an article reviewing the use of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) in China. In response to the publication of a “policy explanation” on the General Hygiene Guidelines for Food Manufacturing by China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission, contributor John Balzano concludes that while issues of relevance are addressed in the guideline, enforcement mechanisms need to be optimized. According to Balzano, the policy explanation addresses both GMP and the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) approach, which asks manufacturers to identify and control for the most probable hazards. While drug and medical device manufacturers further require a license in order to produce in China, food manufacturers do not need such license and are only haphazardly inspected. Balzano thus argues that inspections of food manufacturers need to be more institutionalized and structured to be effective.
The newest draft of the Chinese Food Safety Law currently under revision would require manufacturers to observe administrative guidelines on food manufacturing and distribution as well as food safety standards. These administrative guidelines will be issued by the same agency currently responsible for the more structured enforcement mechanisms for drugs and devices and may thus result in more effective enforcement. Balzano does not specifically address food contact materials or chemical migration.
John Balzano (May 16, 2014). “Does China have Good Manufacturing Practices for food?” Forbes.