From the China Compliance Digest (Issue No. 11: April 16, 2012):
A recent Beijing Evening News expose may help explain why China has come to lead the world in ISO 9001-certified businesses.
According to the paper, ISO 9001 — granted to companies whose management systems are found to meet international standards — and other certifications can simply be bought through one of China’s many corrupt certification agents.
The official purpose of these privately owned agencies is to expedite the process by which accreditation bodies grant certifications to companies. Undercover reporters posing as company representatives, however, said agents promised them results for the right price. One agent reportedly insisted ISO 9001 certification could be had for 8,000 yuan (US$1,264).
Meanwhile, China’s State Food and Drug Administration defended its decision to give “blue hat” health food certification to spirulina supplements that were reported to contain excessive lead by state media agency Xinhua. Alleging the food and drug agency was aware of the contamination, Beijing authorities have commenced a corruption probe into the SFDA.
Sources: Associated Press, Beijing Evening News (北京晚报)
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