Food safety and the development of regulatory institutions in China

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Asian Perspective

Publication Date

Winter 1-1-2005





First Page


Last Page



China, economic development in East Asia


Consumer safety has become an increasingly salient issue for China's rising middle class and regulatory state. This article elucidates the challenges of regulatory development in China through a study of food safety regulation, paying special attention to a scandal involving the sale of fake and sub-standard milk powder. It highlights some of the deficiencies of the regulatory regime and addresses some salient issues concerning regulatory state building, including the regulatory chasm between urban and rural areas, the appropriate role of the state in socioeconomic regulation, the uncertainties created by government reforms, and the conflict between food safety and employment.

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Copyright © Asian Perspective 2005

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Additional Information

Earlier versions of this article were presented at the workshop on "Regulatory Compliance in China: The Lessons of Regulatory Effectiveness", Georgetown Law Centre, November 2-5, 2004, and at the 2005 Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, Chicago, Illinois.

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Recommended Citation

Tam, W., & Yang, D. L. (2005). Food safety and the development of regulatory institutions in China. Asian Perspective, 29(4), 5-36.