China's state-run media say the legislature has approved a new food safety law in an attempt to end repeated scandals involving dangerous food products.
The Xinhua news agency said Saturday the National People's Congress Standing Committee "gave the green light" to a law that will establish a monitoring and supervision system, a set of national food safety standards, a recall system and severe punishment for offenders.
On Friday, the Cabinet established a food safety commission in response to a series of embarrassing scandals involving tainted food products.
China boosted its efforts to tighten its food quality standards after six infants died and nearly 300,000 others were sickened when they ingested milk and milk products contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine.
Vice Health Minister Chen Xiaohong told a video conference Tuesday that underground markets for additives still exist in some regions. Chen warned that authorities will "severely punish" those who deliberately use illegal additives in food.