Chinese authorities announced on Sunday stepped-up regulations over the quality and safety of functional foods, in the country's latest efforts to address public concerns on health safety.
China will strictly follow the application procedures for entries into the functional food market. Companies with false filing information will be denied access and blacklisted, according to a circular issued by the food safety committee under the State Council, or the cabinet.
The move comes after China's State Food and Drug Administration on Thursday set up a special committee regarding functional foods and cosmetics.
The latest circular said China will toughen efforts to monitor and supervise the production and circulation of functional foods. It will launch extensive inspections on the sector more frequently, and products that advertise weight loss or relief from fatigue will be specially targeted, according to the circular.
It also called for intensified crackdowns on misleading advertisements and labeling. Practices of hyping false healing, faking experts' recommendations or patients' testimonies to prove the efficiency of the food will be put under greater scrutiny.
Meanwhile, China will intensify legal efforts to punish misconduct in the sector, including manufacturing and selling fake products and using illegal additives and exaggerated promotions, according to the circular.
To ensure the smooth implementation of the regulations, the circular said the country will come up with more detailed policies as soon as possible to address the issues.
China's market for functional foods has grown considerably over the years, but a lack of standards and regulations have triggered huge public complaints.