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Death an option for some unfit food producers

[ 2011-05-30 10:44]     字号 [] [] []  
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The country's courts have been ordered to impose even harsher punishments for food safety crimes and work-related crimes concerning food safety.

The Supreme People's Court, in a recent notice, said courts should hand down the death sentence to those found guilty of food safety violations that result in human death, according to a statement from the supreme court on Friday.

If a person is found guilty of committing several crimes in one case, such as food safety crimes, the crime of producing and selling counterfeit and shoddy goods, infringement of intellectual property rights and illegal business dealings, he should be convicted of the crime with the harshest punishment and dealt with accordingly, the notice said.

The notice also ordered courts to impose larger fines on people guilty of food safety violations and suggested courts ban criminals from producing and selling food during their probation period.

The court urged severe punishments for government employees found guilty of shielding people who commit food safety violations, as well as those who take bribes from criminals and neglect their duty. It called for open trials of major food safety cases and for related information to be made public in a timely manner.

Nationwide outrage about food safety erupted in 2008 when melamine-tainted baby formula sickened about 300,000 infants and took the lives of six children who had kidney stones and other kidney damage.

The recent string of scandals include steamed buns colored with unidentified chemicals, the use of reclaimed cooking oil known as "gutter oil", "poisonous bean sprouts", "inked vermicelli" and "dyed peppers" in Chongqing municipality, Guangdong, Liaoning and Hunan provinces.

According to statistics by the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the top prosecuting agency, 220 suspects accused of making and selling food unfit for human consumption had been arrested between September and April, with 113 prosecutions in 65 cases.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Death an option for some unfit food producers

About the broadcaster:

Death an option for some unfit food producers

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.