New Food and Drug Administration to Replace China’s State Drug Administration

The Chinese government announced on March 6, 2003 a radical restructuring of several government bureaucracies. Among the government bodies that will undergo drastic change will be the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Commerce, and Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation.

The State Drug Administration (SDA), under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health, is currently responsible for overseeing medical regulations in China. The functions of the SDA along with several other departments on food quality control will soon be overtaken by China’s new Food and Drug Administration (FDA), modeled after the US government body with the same name. Plans for the government reorganization were discussed last month during the Communist Party meeting beginning on February 24, 2003.

The Chinese government hopes that the restructuring of government bodies will contribute to greater accountability and efficiency within the authorities. Wang Zhouyu, outgoing State Councilor and Secretary-General of the State Council said “the restructuring followed the principles of efficiency, streamlining, standardizing and separating the government from state enterprises, as well as the rule of law. Its goals were to make the government more transparent, fair, efficient and better coordinated.”