Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli pledged Sunday the country will adopt the strictest punishments and the most rigorous standards to ensure food safety.

Zhang, also head of the State Council’s food safety commission, made the remarks at a plenary meeting of the commission.

Wang Yang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and deputy head of the commission, attended the meeting.

Zhang required efforts to modernize the systems and capacity for food safety administration, stressing that both the production and supervision processes need to be strengthened.

The responsibilities of manufacturers and operators in food industry must be observed and supervision measures such as checks, inspections, investigations, and information disclosure should be made good use of to ensure that every process related to food safety is under strict scrutiny, Zhang said.

He said efforts should be made to strengthen soil pollution prevention and treatment, and implement standardization of agricultural production, to promote high-quality development of food industry.

While stressing law enforcement, the vice premier also noted the importance to enhance ethics to create a culture for food safety in society.

Noting that the CPC Central Committee and the State Council attach great importance to food safety work, Zhang said related work has yielded significant achievements and the food safety situation has stayed generally stable over the past five years.

He said both the Party and governmental authorities should do their share in food safety work.

Wang said the standards system for food safety should be improved and supervision should be enhanced at grassroots levels.

Wang also called for better industrial self-discipline, greater public supervision, and deepened supply-side structural reform in the sector to promote the high-quality development of related industries and to ensure more safe, nutritious, and healthy foods for the people.

Sunday’s meeting discussed the focuses of the commission’s work in 2018 and the arrangements for related work during the upcoming Spring Festival and “two sessions” periods.