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Top World Health Organization (WHO) officials stated that China is not the only place that has food safety problems. The United Nations agency receives around 200 reports of contaminated food every month in its 193 states with membership.

“I have to say that food safety is a big problem for both developed and developing countries,” said Margaret Chan, WHO director-general.

China, where poorly regulated food and drug safety standards have been a problem for years, is reeling from health scandals. On Friday Chinese authorities told food and drug companies to put safety first and urged the media to paint a rosier picture.

The director of WHO’s department of food safety, Jordan Schlundt, said that China has been addressing their food standards and problems since 2001. Since then the country has started to implement some of WHO’s recommendations. Schlundt told Reuters, “We are not expressing any concern especially about China.”

The WHO issues around 10 to 20 “emergency notifications” every year that report a potential international health scare linked to food. Most of these notifications are related to industrial countries because they have better systems for reporting disease outbreaks, and figures do not show the extent of problems in other places.

For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Defective and Dangerous Products.

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