[b]The China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) started operation on Friday, marking a more powerful watchdog to address the country’s accumulating food safety concerns.

The CFDA, headed by Zhang Yong, director of the food safety commission under the State Council integrated the monitoring functions of other government organs and became a ministerial-level agency to improve food and drug safety.

The move came out of the country’s renewed efforts to reduce bureaucracy and improve efficiency via a cabinet restructuring approved by the top legislature in China’s just-concluded parliamentary session.
Chinese consumers have encountered a series of food safety scandals in recent years, including recycled cooking oil, tainted liquor, substandard yoghurt and harmful milk powder.