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Xinhua Insight: Big data could make China's food safer

Updated: 07 11 , 2016 14:26
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GUIYANG, July 10 -- Over fears of adulterated or substandard food, many Chinese rely on word-of-mouth to find safe groceries, but officials and technicians say it is time to take a more scientific approach and use big data to address food safety concerns.

A popular trend currently is ugly vegetables, as many take this as an indication of limited artificial interference.

Guizhou Vice Governor He Li spoke about this, and other trends besides, during a food safety discussion at the Eco Forum Global Annual Conference concluded Sunday in the provincial capital Guiyang, calling it ill-informed and misleading.

"When I was small, peach-shaped cakes were in vogue. We all went mad for the little red decoration on top of the cake," said the 57-year-old.

"The decoration was full of additives, but this was taken as a sign of industrialization and was quite novel. However, more and more Chinese are trying to avoid additives, even though many are harmless and, quite often, necessary for preservation," He said.

Big data could be used to ease the public's concerns, He said.

Guizhou, a pioneer of China's big data economy, allows consumers to access food inspection data with their cell phones.

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