Global Processing

Seven Arrested in China, Officials Want Death Penalty for Food Safety Violators

September 20, 2010

The Associated Press reports, a Chinese dairy company executive and six other people were arrested after authorities discovered 26 tons of milk powder tainted with a toxic chemical, a report said. The Jinfulai Dairy Company in Yangquan city of Shanxi province traded fresh milk for expired milk powder that contained high levels of the industrial chemical melamine, according to JCRB.com, a legal issues website administered by China''s Supreme Court. It was not clear whether anyone had been sickened by the tainted milk powder. Police in Yangquan arrested seven people, including Wang Zhigang, the dairy company''s general manager, on charges of producing and selling toxic food, JCRB.com reported. China has been shaken by a series of safety incidents, some of them fatal, involving products such as toxic toothpaste, faulty tires and tainted milk. China recently warned that the worst offenders of food safety rules would get the death penalty in a new crackdown on the industry. The official Xinhua News Agency cited a joint notice issued by the Public Security Bureau and three top law agencies as saying severe or large-scale food safety cases must be strictly punished. The notice also promised harsher punishment for government officials who accept bribes and protect or ignore food safety offenders. The notice didn''t appear to announce changes to the food safety law but said courts should order the highest penalties allowed. The announcement was issued Wednesday by the Public Security Bureau, The Supreme Court, the Ministry of Justice and the Supreme People''s Procuratorate, Xinhua said.