On March 14, 2013, the 12th National People’s Congress of China approved the plan to restructure several government authorities, including the State Food and Drug Administration (“SFDA”), and the Ministry of Health (“MOH”).
As the key regulatory agency of China on food, drug, medical device and cosmetics, SFDA was put under the direction of MOH in 2008. After the restructuring, SFDA will report to the State Council directly.
More importantly, SFDA will be given the consolidated authority to regulate the entire food industry. In the past, food manufacturers, distributors, and service providers (i.e. , restaurants) were regulated, respectively, by the Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (“AQSIQ”), the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (“SAIC”), and SFDA. The restructuring plan requires AQSIQ and SAIC to transfer those functions to SFDA so as to put the entire food distribution chain under the regulation of one single agency. In the meantime, SFDA’s existing regulatory authority over drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, and dietary supplements should remain unchanged.