Global cooperation is the only way to improve food safety, Chinese official media said on Sunday after yet another week of global anxiety about the quality of goods from China.
A range of Chinese exports, from fish and toys to pet food and toothpaste, have been found to be mislabeled, unsafe or dangerously contaminated, creating an international backlash.
But the government has hit back, saying the problems of a few small, rogue companies should not besmirch the whole made-in-China label, insisting it does take effective action to guarantee safety.
In fact, China has always worked with other countries to tackle the issue, the official Xinhua news agency said.
Food safety and product quality is an international problem, and is also something the whole of mankind pays attention to, it said in a piece carried on the central government's Web site (www.gov.cn).
It needs cooperation and better communication from governments to seek common solutions together. Strengthened international negotiations and cooperation are the only effective path to solving the safety problem, the report added.
It then listed the talks China had had with Japan, the European Union and the United States on the subject.
The quality and inspection bureau has proactively attended international meetings, and taken part in setting standards, Xinhua said.
An agreement on food safety cooperation was signed with the United States on Saturday, the quality watchdog said in a statement on its Web site (www.aqsiq.gov.cn), without providing details.
In the latest scare, Mattel Inc. said it was recalling 1.5 million Fisher-Price toys globally because their paint could contain too much lead.
The United States has stepped up inspections of imports from China since a chemical additive in pet food caused the death of some pets there earlier this year.
But Beijing has complained that it is the victim of biased news reports that have grossly overstated the depth of the quality problem and are being used to stoke protectionist demands.
In many countries, protectionism has still not been wiped away, quality watchdog spokesman Liu Deping was quoted as telling state television, according to a transcript carried on official government Web site www.china.com.cn.
Some Chinese products were running into trouble overseas simply because of different food standards, it quoted a professor at China Agricultural University as saying.
These differences in standards are actually to limit other country's trade and exports, Luo Yunbo said.