The Ministry of Health has taken over the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) under a plan approved by the State Council on Monday, the South China Morning Post reported. In doing so, the Ministry of Health – which supervises hospitals and public health institutions – became the sole supervisor for food, public health and pharmaceuticals. The Ministry of Health will assume the SFDA’s duties in regulation, policymaking, safety investigation, quality assessments, and implementation of food and drug laws, the paper said. The move is intended to improve the food and drug regulatory system and thus boost safety. But some analysts said the centralization of power could encourage corruption. Former SFDA head Zheng Xiaoyu was executed in July 2007 for taking bribes from pharmaceutical companies.
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