On March 17, 2018, the 13th National People’s Congress approved the institutional restructuring plan submitted by China State Council. In the plan, ministries are decreased by eight and State Council agencies are decreased by seven. Food-related ministries and bureaus will be reshuffled as follows.
Original National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC)
NHFPC will merge into the newly created National Health Commission. Its main responsibilities include constructing national health policies, coordinating and promoting the deepening of the reform of the medical and health system and constructing national basic pharmaceutical system. It will supervise and manage public health, medical services, health emergency response, family planning, and develop policies and measures for responding to population aging and medical care.
Original Ministry of Agriculture (MOA)
MOA will merge into the newly created Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. Main responsibilities include supervising and managing planting, animal husbandry, fishery, farming, agricultural mechanization, quality and safety of agricultural products, and agricultural investment.
Original agencies include:
- State Administration for Industry & Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (SAIC)
- General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China (AQSIQ)
- China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA)
- Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China (CNCA)
- Standardization Administration of the People’s Republic of China (SAC)
SAIC, AQSIQ and CFDA will merge into the newly created Market Supervision Management Bureau. This new bureau will be responsible for:
- comprehensive market supervision and management
- unified market entities registration
- establishment of information-sharing mechanisms
- organization of market supervision and law enforcement
- implementation of unified anti-monopoly law enforcement
- maintenance of market order, organization and implementation of strategies for strengthening the country's quality
- industrial product quality and safety
- food safety
- special equipment safety
- unified management of measurement standards, inspection, certification and accreditation, etc.
Additionally, CNCA and SAC will also be merged into this new bureau.
The SAIC, AQSIQ and CFDA merge will end the era of vertical supervision according to different food life stages and step into regional supervision of food whole life cycle.
The strategy will definitely decrease duplicated management and missing management situation. At the same time, however, it will create a burden for regional governmental administrative departments that lack enough well-trained staff for handling specific food safety affairs.
Re-organization will also lead to a significant change in the division of responsibility and coordinating process construction. It is likely that in the future, food and drug will be charged under different supervision departments.