China faces a long and difficult task to improve food safety, but global cooperation is the only way to do it, official media said on Sunday after yet another week of global anxiety about the quality of Chinese goods.
A range of Chinese exports, from fish and toys to pet food and toothpaste, have been found to be mislabeled, unsafe or dangerously contaminated, creating an international backlash.
"At present, the food safety situation has improved, yet is still serious," Xinhua news agency quoted the deputy head of the State Food and Drug Administration, Hui Lusheng, as saying.
"Since last year reports of 'red-yolk duck eggs' and so on have often caused wide concern in society about food safety, and warned us that our country is in a period of high risk," Hui said, referring to a contaminated egg scare.
"Dealing with and preventing food safety risks is a long-term, arduous and complicated project, which needs society to work together and comprehensive prevention," she added.
But the government also insists the problems of a few small, rogue companies should not besmirch the whole made-in-China label, insisting it does take effective action to ensure safety.
In fact, China has always worked with other countries to tackle the issue, Xinhua said.
"Food safety and product quality is an international problem, and is also something the whole of mankind pays attention to," it said in a piece carried on the central government's Web site (www.gov.cn).
"It needs cooperation and better communication from governments to seek common solutions together. Strengthened international negotiations and cooperation are the only effective path to solving the safety problem," the report added.