Now That’s What I Call Zero Tolerance

2 comments May 29th, 2007at 07:57am Posted by Eli

Perhaps a teensy bit excessive, but at least China is taking corruption seriously:

The former head of China’s top food and drug safety agency was sentenced to death today after pleading guilty to corruption and accepting bribes, according to the state-controlled news media.


The unusually harsh sentence for the former director comes at a time of heightened concerns about the quality and safety of China’s food and drug system after a series of scandals involving tainted food and phony drugs.

China is also under mounting pressure to overhaul its food export controls after two Chinese companies were accused this year of shipping contaminated pet food ingredients to the United States, triggering one of the largest pet food recalls in United States history.

The nation’s regulators are also coming under scrutiny after diethylene glycol, a toxic chemical sometimes used in antifreeze, ended up in cough syrup and toothpaste in Latin America.


The incidents pose a huge threat to China’s growing food and drug exports and have already led to international calls for new testing and screening methods for Chinese-made goods.

The problems are more serious in China because tens of thousands of people are sickened or killed every year because of rampant counterfeiting and phony food and drugs.


Small Chinese drug makers have long been accused of manufacturing phony or substandard drugs and marketing them to the nation’s hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. And mass food poisonings involving tainted food products are common.

The Chinese government, however, has stepped up its patrols in recent weeks, announcing a series of measures aimed at strengthening food and drug safety and cracking down on counterfeiting operations.

Today, the government said it was preparing to release its first regulation on nationwide food recalls.

The government also said it would crack down on food products that are being illegally exported, bypassing food inspections.

Wow, a government taking regulatory responsibilities seriously! Amazing!

Of course, as the story implies, China is in serious disaster-control mode after the melamine catastrophe, and lack of confidence is starting to hurt their food and drug exports. But contrast this to BushCo’s default strategy of stonewalling, lies, and denial, no matter what the stakes. They still haven’t figured out that the rest of the world isn’t as gullible as the American people in 2004. Hell, they still haven’t figured out that the American people aren’t as gullible as the American people in 2004.

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism


  • 1. Bill Bradley  |  May 29th, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    It’s a little more than pet food. There are is a human body count (at least 10) for an antibiotic which he had approved that had not been properly tested. Also human fatalities for antifreeze laced toothpaste and cough syrup in recent news (but no americans were killed, so it doesn’t make the papers). The American press is also (finally) picking up on businesses trying to(and succeeding in) smuggling illegal goods (food and drugs) from China.

  • 2. Eli  |  May 29th, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    Yah, the story picked up most or all of that, but obviously the pet food has been the high-profile poster child for all that is wrong with China’s FDA.

    I know I’m cynical, but I do wonder whether China would be quite so tough if the casualties were all internal (and covered up).

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