China has announced that it is in the middle of a $1.1 billion spending plan for the improvement of food safety. The plan started two years ago; however, news of the plan, which is expected to be completed by 2010, was only released this month. Funding from the plan will be used for a new laboratory, inspection offices at 16 ports and improved facilities in central and western China, where economic development has lagged. The plan will also support the development of rules that will give safety regulators the authority to close down factories that are believed to be manufacturing substandard products. In addition, a Chinese official stated that China will enter into a joint initiative with the US to combat counterfeit drugs and will increase its cooperation with the US on safety issues. This news follows an earlier announcement about sophisticated measures for guaranteeing food safety at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Source: Financial Times

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