Under pressure in the U.S. from consumers and lawmakers, the Chinese government has pledged to improve the way in which it supervises food safety.

The pledge follows a string of recalls and consumer warnings, on products ranging from pet food to seafood.

Just as in the U.S., various government agencies share responsibility for food safety in China. Li Changjiang, minister in charge of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, said the government is reviewing the entire system.

He said new measures will be taken to improve the system, but offered no specifics.

The existing system involves at least five central government departments - AQSIQ, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Health and the State Food and Drug Administration - which are responsible for supervising farming, production and processing, and distribution and selling.

Li said the government is considering ways to streamline the system and make it more efficient.

"To ensure the quality of food exports, the Chinese government has set up a monitoring system that covers plantations, breeding farms and production bases," said Li. "Only products that pass strict quarantine inspection are allowed to be exported."

Li also said his agency is consulting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on ways to improve supervision of Chinese food products before they leave China and once they arrive in the U.S.

China initially denied there were safety problems with its exports, but has softened its position as the number of recalls has provoked a consumer backlash in the U.S., as well as in Congress.

Li said food safety is a global issue that requires cooperation and improved inspection systems among all trading partners.