Rewards to rise for food safety tip-offs

Hu Min
Whistleblowers to be eligible for rewards of up to 500,000 yuan compared with the present maximum of 300,000 yuan when new rules become effective in October.
Hu Min

Whistleblowers who alert authorities to food safety incidents will eligible for rewards of up to 500,000 yuan (US$73,050) from October from the present maximum of 300,000 yuan, the city's food watchdog announced on Wednesday.

The rise is based on an amended version of the Shanghai food safety tip-off rewards rule which will be effective from October, the Shanghai Administration for Market Regulation said.

It expands the scope of violations for tip-offs eligible for rewards, including unlicensed manufacturing and business operations of food, food additives, and relevant products, and the manufacturing and business operations of foods with raw materials from poisonous and harmful animals and plants for the first time.

The tip-off rewards also cover online food transaction platforms' failure to register or review their listed food businesses, according to the amended rule.

The rewards will be based on fines and confiscations instead of product value at present.

In many cases, the product value could not be calculated and there had been disputes resulting from the gap of product value deemed by whistleblowers and ruled by authorities, the administration said.

The amended version aims to encourage tip-offs and prevent disputes.

The minimum reward will remain at 200 yuan.

The review of rewards will be cut to 30 days from 45 days at present, and whistleblowers can apply for another review within 10 days after receiving the notice if they disagree on the amount.

The rule encourages whistleblowers to report their own working units if offenses are spotted by doubling the reward amount.

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