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English>>China Society

Food, medicine safety cases on rise

By Zhao Yinan  (China Daily)

09:33, August 01, 2012

There has been a huge increase in trials concerning food and medicine safety, but this indicates, at least in part, a more focused approach by legal authorities, a top legal official said.

"A surge has been observed in the number of cases that have been filed and heard in courts, at all levels, in the past two years,'' Miao Youshui, deputy director of the Second Criminal Tribunal under the Supreme People's Court, said at a news conference.

Courts across the country have seen 688 cases related to fake medicine in the first six months of this year, up nearly 70 percent on last year's total. The number of cases concerning fake medicine in 2011 rose by 275 percent on the 2010 figure, according to statistics provided by the court.

The number of food safety disputes has risen sharply.

Cases heard by courts stood at 330 at the end of June, nudging close to the entire total for 2011. The number of food safety disputes in 2011, in turn, saw a 216-percent increase on 2010.

Miao said one of the reasons that contributed to the increase was a more sharpened focus, both in legislation and judicial practice, on the issue.

China amended its Criminal Law in 2011 and introduced specific crimes relating to the manufacturing and dealing of substandard food and fake medicine. Prior to this, food and medicine issues were usually treated under general crime, like counterfeit production.

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