Chinese Government will Crack Down on Fraud and False Advertising of Food and Health Food

On 13 July 2017, 9 China Government departments, including Food Safety Office of the State Council, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Commerce, State Administration for Industry and Commerce, AQSIQ, Press and Publication of SARFT, CFDA, and National Internet Information Office, jointly issued the Regulating Plan on Fraud and False Advertising of Food and Health Food, with great determination to further strengthen the food safety supervision, and crack down on illegal behaviors.

1. Schedule

Duration

Plan

Before 2017.12.31

Local authorities complete the inspection of relevant manufacturers and operating companies within their administrative region, and rectify the discovered problems.

2018.01.01~2018.06.30

Food Safety Office of the State Council will collaborate with relevant departments to carry out the inspection of major districts, and expose the local authorities concerned with ineffective governance measures to the public.

2. Governance Content 

I. Behaviors of producing, distributing, or importing food and health food without permission;

II. False claims of food and health food labels;

III. Behaviors of illegal marketing or fraudulent sales on food and health food, by ways of Internet, conference marketing, TV shopping, direct marketing, telemarketing, etc.

IV. Behaviors of publishing health food advertisements without permission, or publishing false and illegal food and health food advertisements;

V. Other illegal behaviors concerning the fraud and false advertising of food and health food. 

3. Controlling Measures

3.1 Further clarify the main body responsibilities of enterprises 

S.N.

Bodies

Key responsibilities

1

Manufacturers

  • Obtain food production license before producing food and health food;
  • Stablish perfect food safety management systems;

2

Operating enterprises

  • Obtain food operation license before selling food and health food. Without the operation qualification of entity store, it is not allowed to sell productsthrough Internet;
  • Establish perfect product traceability management system, to ensure the food safety and avoid false claims on the product label.

3

Third-party platform operator

  • Examine the permit of the food operator, and conduct the real name registration;
  • Bear corresponding legal responsibilities if the operators take advantage of the platform to make false propaganda or cheat consumers, etc.

4

Advertising agencies

  • Examine the documents and advertisement contents;
  • Bear corresponding legal responsibilities if the advertising is false.

5

Importers

  • Take legal obligation for the product quality and label authenticity of imported food and health food.
  • When find the products are unsafe or in-compliant with Chinese regulation, stop importing and re-call relevant products, and report to local FDA in time.

 3.2 Effectively implement the responsibilities of local authorities 

S.N.

Object under inspection

Key inspection content

1

Manufacturers

Focus on the illegal behaviors such as producing without license, illegal addition of non-food substances, adulteration, false advertising on food label, etc.

2

Operating enterprises

Focus on the illegal behaviors such as operating without license, and advertising unpermitted health function or disease treatments on product labels or promotion materials, etc.

3

Non-entity store

Focus on the illegal behaviors of operating without license, or advertising disease prevention or treatments to cheat consumers, by ways of Internet, conference marketing, TV shopping, direct marketing, telemarketing, etc.

4

Products with illegal addition, or illegal function claims

Conduct casual inspection on these products, especially on the products sold through Internet, conference marketing, TV shopping, direct marketing, telemarketing, etc.

5

Illegal food function claims

Further strengthen the supervision and punishment on the false food and health food advertisements.

All inspection results and punishments will be exposed to public, and except the inspection of the government departments, the public are also encouraged to take part in the supervision and report of the fraud and false advertising behaviors of food and health food. This shows that Chinese government attaches great importance to propaganda of food and health food, and illegal behaviors will be cracked down with the implementation of this Plan. No matter domestic enterprises or overseas enterprises, they shall pay attention to the Chinese food and health food laws and regulations, and avoid using false or exaggerated claims to cheat consumers.

Reference

CFDA News