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Investigative reporters to be protected

By An Baijie  (Chinadaily.com.cn)

14:53, May 08, 2012

Authorities are taking the step to help media reporters "uncover more truths", said Wang Yang, Party chief of Guangdong, a major manufacturing hub in South China, at a news conference.

A list of reporters who investigate fake products will be recorded by the provincial publicity department and the public security department. Reporters can apply for protection during investigations, Lai Tiansheng, director of the province's anti-counterfeit committee, said during a news conference on Monday.

Journalists who uncover serious cases of fake products will be also be rewarded by the government, the official said.

In addition to reporters, residents are also encouraged to report cases of fake products. An existing award for whistle-blowers will be increased, Lai said.

Guangdong launched a crackdown on the manufacture and sale of fake products on April 26, vowing to make the market orderly and protect public health.

The crackdown followed a series of scandals involving food and drug safety exposed by journalists.

China Central Television revealed in early April that some capsules, including several common brands, were made from industrial gelatin, which has a much higher degree of chromium than edible gelatin.

The industrial gelatin was made from waste leather, including from leather shoes, at illegal workshops in East China's Zhejiang province, CCTV reported. Chromium is toxic and can cause cancer in large doses.

The Guangdong government has so far found 27,273 cases, with 2,192 suspects taken into custody and 710 arrested. A total of 4,298 illegal factories have been shut down, the Guangzhou-based New Express reported.

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