Former head of China's drug watchdog stands trial

Updated: 2007-05-16 20:30

Zheng Xiaoyu, the former director of China's State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), went on trial Wednesday accused of taking bribes worth more than 6.4 million yuan (800,000 US dollars), a Beijing court said.

He is also charged with dereliction of duty, said a spokesman with the Beijing Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People's Court.

Zheng, born in December 1944, was appointed director of the SFDA when it was created in March 1998. He was removed from the post in June 2005.

In 2002, China adopted national standards for approving medicines. All new medicines had to be approved by the SFDA before they could be sold.

Zheng promoted a certification system called Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), which was brought into disrepute by a series of health scares and corruption scandals.

He came under investigation by the Communist Party of China Central Commission for Discipline Inspection in December 2006 and was expelled from the Communist Party in March 2007.

Earlier reports said that Zheng's subordinates provided evidence against their former boss.

Hao Heping, former director of SFDA's Department of Medical Devices and one of Zheng's former secretaries, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for bribery in November last year.

Cao Wenzhuang, former director of SFDA's Department of Drug Registration and also another former secretary of Zheng, has been under investigation since January of last year.

Zheng's trail continues.

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