Ming Pao reports that Liu Peizhi, deputy director of the State Council Food Safety Office, says that lack of integrity is the root cause for food hazards, and that it is necessary to enhance integrity in society and build up a democratic legal system.
He says failure to eliminate incidents of bad food such as melamine, beta-adrenergic agonist and “gutter” oil, in spite of repeated banning efforts, reveals that lack of integrity is cause of the problem.
He believes that an enterprises’ integrity is the internal guarantee for achieving food safety, while supervision by society is the external restraint to enhance integrity in enterprises. Integrity and self-discipline are the foundation for the healthy development of an enterprise as well as the internal cause in ensuring food safety. Only when enterprises comply with discipline and law, operate with integrity and impose strict discipline on themselves can food safety be guaranteed.
However, under the circumstances where the food industry grows rapidly, foundation for food safety is weak and the inspection and regulatory system has to be further improved and perfected. Hence, the costs of insincerity and dishonesty are relatively low, and the gains from violation of law are relatively high.
It is difficult to avoid that some enterprises that lack a sense of responsibility and awareness of the law may be seduced by high profits. They become willing to take chances and disregard moral principles in pursuing profits. Therefore, in order to ensure food safety, the mechanism of external restraint must be perfected, supervision and regulation must be continuously strengthened, and the whole society must be mobilised to participate, so as to converge the strength of all the various parties.
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