The LegCo Reporter
Issue No. 2 (3 November 2005)

At its meeting on 2 November 2005, the Legislative Council passed the following bill:

At the same meeting, the Council passed the following resolution:

The following two motions with no legislative effect were also passed by the Council:

(1)Motion on "Perfecting the food safety regulatory mechanism", moved by Hon WONG Yung-kan

"That, as a number of food safety incidents which occurred recently in Hong Kong have exposed the Government's shortcomings in the regulation of food safety, its slow reaction to emergencies and the inadequacies in the notification system between Hong Kong and the Mainland, and have also seriously affected the public's confidence in the Government's capability to perform the gate-keeping role, this Council urges the Government to:
(a)expeditiously implement the plan to re-organize the food safety regulatory framework after consulting this Council and the public at large, to ensure that the posts of frontline staff are not affected by the re-organization plan, and to enhance training for staff so that they can grasp the ever-changing food safety knowledge and meet the related new technological requirements;
(b)strengthen and re-organize the existing consultative framework on food safety by including representatives from the agriculture and fisheries industries, catering industry, veterinary profession and consumer organizations, so that they can more comprehensively advise the Government on food safety matters;
(c)step up Hong Kong's monitoring of foods at source at their places of origin;
(d)conduct a comprehensive review of the existing standards and legislation on safe production of foods, including strictly regulating the use of drugs and chemicals and their residue contents in foods as well as the microbe counts in foods, etc, so as to ensure food safety;
(e)perfect the food safety notification systems between Hong Kong and the Mainland as well as other places supplying food to Hong Kong, and to strengthen co-operation with the Mainland in combating food smuggling;
(f)devote more resources to enhance the Government's capability in food testing and hygiene inspection;
(g)study the establishment of a food tracking system and the implementation of food recall arrangements, so as to raise the Government's capability in handling food safety incidents;
(h)study the establishment of a food safety certification mechanism whereby identification labels are awarded to safe, quality food products so as to help consumers make their choices; and
(i)expedite the pace in promoting a quality production and management scheme for local agricultural and fishery products, and to establish a branding system for local products,
in order to fully enhance Hong Kong's capability in regulating food safety and safeguard public safety in food consumption."

(2)Motion on "Comprehensively developing the border area", moved by Hon WONG Ting-kwong as amended by Hon SIN Chung-kai

"That, as the Chief Executive has announced in his Policy Address the decision to significantly reduce the size of the closed area and to redraw the limits of the new closed area so as to release land for redevelopment, this Council urges the Government to expedite the completion of the realignment of the closed area and formulation of the planning proposals, and to devise an overall strategy on this basis to comprehensively develop the border area between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, so as to create new growth areas for Hong Kong's economy, promote co-operation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, facilitate the development of Hong Kong's trade in services, industries and tourism, and create new employment opportunities; but given the presence of many sites of ecological and conservation value, such as wetlands and streams within the closed area, the Government must, in considering the development of these sites, ensure that the development plan is in line with the principles of sustainable development and nature conservation, and should conduct a comprehensive ecological assessment of the plan and then formulate suitable conservation measures and conduct planning in a prudent manner; the Government should also allow stakeholders, including green groups, to participate in the planning process with a view to ensuring that the policy of sustainable development can materialize."