The Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council released yesterday a draft of amendments to the PRC Food Safety Law so to seek public comments within November 19, 2013. The draft include provisions aimed to strengthen the inspection and supervision measures on producers, distributors and shops. In addition, the supervision on and coordination among public authorities by the central government will be changed, and the latter may even step in instead a local authority in case the measures put in place by such local authority will be proven to be ineffective to remove health risks to the consumers.

New provisions will increase the level of administrative sanction that may be imposed not only to those producers (or distributors) that, by infringing the law, cause consequences to the consumers, but also to those that simply commit a violation of the law without any consequence. The also increase the civil liabilities for producers and distributors in favor of the consumers: if this draft will be approved without further amendment, a consumer may obtain a compensation from Chinese Yuan 1,000 up to ten times the price of the product, or three times the amount of the damage actually suffered.

Other provisions concerning the misleading advertisement are included, and it appears that producers, distributors, advertisement agencies, advertisement designers may be held jointly and severally liable towards the consumers in case of misleading advertisement.

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