|Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli (C) presides over a conference of the food safety commission under the State Council, or China's cabinet, in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 11, 2013. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)
BEIJING, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Strengthened supervision and harsher punishments are needed to ensure food safety for the public, Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli urged on Wednesday.
The general situation of food safety is stable, and public access to safe food and water is guaranteed, but potential risks remain, Zhang said at a conference of the food safety commission under the State Council, or China's cabinet.
The government must impose strict controls over food sources and prevent pollution from agricultural non-point sources. Food supervision should follow the entire process "from the farmland to dining tables," he said.
Non-point source pollution refers to water and air pollution from many different sources that have no obvious discharge point.
Zhang urged improving food safety standards and enhancing supervision. Local areas as well as central and western China should prioritize allocating investment for food safety.
Enterprises hold prime responsibilities, while the government should regulate and manage businesses and consumers should be encouraged to participate in the efforts, Zhang said.