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CEF Program Associate Susan Shifflett Interviewed by CCTV-America on Food Safety and Supply

June 17, 2015

Safety is just one part of the food supply chain. The other is the availability of food in the first place. CCTV-America interviewed CEF Program Associate Susan Shifflett on food issues.

“China is certainly not alone and every country faces this issue,” said Mrs. Shifflet when commenting the food problems in China. “It’s particularly amplified in China because you have 85 percent of the producers have less than ten employees. You are talking about a lot of small, different producers. In 2014 alone, there were 560,000 complaints launched in terms of food safety. So how does the state Food and Drug Administration tried to run after over half a million complaints? It's just a very difficult task to do.”

When asked why it’s so hard to get the food safety right in both China and other places of the world, Mrs. Shifflett said that there were two major reasons. The first is because the food supply chain has become so globalized, and the second is that big companies, which have thousands of food producers that are feeding into thousands of suppliers, find it’s very difficult to get down to farmers, even if they might be able to audit their suppliers.

Given that China’s large population and limited natural resources, and that the land and water are increasingly contaminated, Mrs. Shifflett pointed two solutions that the Chinese government is currently pushing for, the modernization of the country’s agricultural system and food trade. 

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