Beijing to reward citizens who report safety issues

Beijing city authorities will reward citizens who report food safety concerns to officials, state media said on Monday, a day after a TV reporter was jailed for cooking up a report about dumplings made with cardboard.

Beijing to reward citizens who report safety issues
China has been shaken by a wave of safety scares over products ranging from toys to toothpaste and food laced with toxins, bacteria and dangerous additives, and has fought back through news briefings, new rules and promises of more spending.

Food safety has taken on added urgency in the run-up to the Olympics in August 2008.

The new regulation, which was being drafted by the Beijing legislature, would "let people play an active role to safeguard the city's food table", the Beijing Youth Daily said, citing a top city legislator.

In previous drafts, the city would only reward reporters of food safety issues when they provided "important clues, information or proof", the newspaper added.

It did not give details of how citizens would be rewarded.

The regulation would also increase penalties on officials who hold responsibility for food safety accidents, it said.

"The main government officials or managers would be warned, demoted or sacked if food safety accidents which cause serious social impact happen frequently in their administrated districts," the newspaper said.

Despite repeated government assurances they are taking a responsible attitude towards food and drug safety, there has been little let up in the barrage of bad news.

A Chinese court on Sunday jailed a television reporter for a year for fabricating a report that Beijing dumpling makers used cardboard as a filling.

The official Xinhua news agency said the journalist, Zi Beijia, was convicted after an open court hearing of "infringing the reputation of commodities". He was also fined 1,000 yuan ($132).

Reuters
Last Mod: 14 Ağustos 2007, 09:49
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