On-Demand Public Food and Drug Inspection System

Previous government-led safety inspection systems were not reflective of social needs and public interest in the foods and drugs that should be on the market.
The new system allows people not only to make policy proposals but to actively participate in food and drug inspections as well.
People are empowered to request inspection or examination of products when there is a growing public concern over the safety of the food or drug in question. The government will respond with an inspection or examination, and the results will be made publicly available.

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The government can proactively monitor the safety of foods and drugs and communicates openly about the results it obtains, resulting in increased public confidence about the safety of these products. The system works as a communication platform between the government and the people, enabling the government to respond to the people’s needs in a more agile manner.

※ Procedure of On-Demand Public Food and Drug Inspection System
Petition (by People) --> Recommendation (by People) --> Selection (by Committee) --> Examination (by Govt) --> Publication (by Govt with Committee)

The committee members include civil society activists, academics, the press, legal consultants and other experts in relevant fields to ensure the fairness and transparency of all inspections.

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People can start a petition, make policy recommendations and view disclosed information on a government web site. The platform enables any citizen to make direct requests for a specific food or drug inspection. When there is a growing public sentiment on the need for an inspection, the government conducts an inspection and discloses the findings.

Objectives: Improved public health and public trust in government by having people participate and voice their opinion in the policy-making process. The goal is additionally to prevent emerging risks in food and drug by communicating with the people.

Beneficiaries: The people benefit by having their safety concerns over food and drug addressed, as the government inspects products that people raise issues with and discloses the results publicly. Going forward, the government intends to improve the system by expanding the categories of products that can be inspected and by enabling better public access to effectively respond to the people’s needs and increase public participation.

Outcomes:

(Case 1) Public request to inspect baby wipes due to safety concerns
☞ The government inspected and examined 147 brands of baby wipes on the market, and banned sales of 14 brands that contained nonconformities.

(Case 2) Public request to inspect weight loss drinks
☞ The government inspected 41 brands to find that one brand of the drinks contained high or dangerous levels of bacteria and violated laws related to false or exaggerated advertisement, and took administrative action against the manufacturer to ban the sale of the drink.

(Case 3) Public request to inspect diapers due to strong chemical smell
☞ The government inspected 39 brands on the market, and found that there was no problem as every product met all 19 criteria, including formaldehyde levels. The components that caused the smell, VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), were found to be harmless.

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Year: 2018
Organisation Type: Government
Level of government: National/Federal government

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