Amid widespread concerns about health hazards from pesticide-soaked vegetables and fruits, health-conscious consumers are willing to pay more for products they believe to be safe "from farm to table" as certified by the government's food standard agency. It turns out they are being cheated.
The National Bureau of Agricultural Commodity and Food Standards (ACFS) is the agency in question. It is responsible for granting the "Q-mark" logo to guarantee the quality and safety of the products.
It is an important task. When other government agencies have failed to curb excessive use of toxic farm chemicals that cause health hazards, the Q logo informs consumers of a higher standard of food and encourages "green" businesses to grow. In the wake of frequent boycotts of contaminated vegetables by trade partners, food safety standards also help restore trust and bring the country's goal of becoming the "Kitchen of the World" a bit closer.
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