China pursues most food-safety cases with criminal charges: supreme court

09:05, May 26, 2011      

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Prosecutors overseeing most food-safety cases in China are pursuing charges of producing and selling counterfeit and shoddy goods, which is a criminal offense, a court official told Xinhua on Wednesday.

This is compared to a relatively small number of food-safety cases that were prosecuted with the charges of producing and selling toxic food or food whose quality is below national requirements, said Xiong Xuanguo, vice president of the Supreme People's Court, China's highest court.

Last year courts in China handed out rulings on 119 cases and convicted 162 people in connection with producing and selling toxic food, or food whose quality is below national requirements, according to Xiong.

These two numbers stood at 84 cases and 101 convictions in 2008, and 148 and 208 in 2009, respectively, he said, attributing the increase to stepped-up law-enforcement following the notorious melamine-contaminated milk powder scandal in 2008.

He said that courts in China take a hard line against food-safety crimes and the mission is still arduous, vowing severe crackdown on food-safety crimes and crimes of bribery and dereliction of duties concerning food safety.

Source: Xinhua
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