Former drug and food top dog receives death sentence
Zheng Xiaoyu, 63, former director of China’s State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), was sentenced to death by a Beijing court today for taking bribes and dereliction of duty. All his personal property was confiscated and he was deprived of his political rights for life.
The court attributed the harshness of the sentence to the ‘huge bribes involved and the great damage inflicted on the country and the public by Zheng’s dereliction of duty’. It may also be seeking to reassure foreign as well as Chinese consumers that the government is taking action on drug and food monitoring and supervision.
‘Zheng was supposed to use the power given to him by the state and the people seriously and honestly,’ said the court, ‘but instead he has ignored their vital interests by taking bribes. This has threatened the safety of people’s life and health and has caused an extremely bad social impact.’
Australia, Panama and the Dominican Republic recently recalled thousands of tubes of Chinese-made toothpaste allegedly containing dangerous levels of diethylene glycol, a toxin used to cool engines.
Earlier this year, the US government blamed pet food from China for the fatal poisoning of a number of dogs and cats, and since then three US states have banned imports of catfish from China because they contained an unauthorized antibiotic.
Zheng was China’s chief drug and food official from June 1997 to December 2006.
Xinhua News Agency