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China gets tougher with food crimes

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-05-03 21:45

BEIJING - China will punish the production and sale of unsafe food products more harshly to combat increasingly severe food scandals, judicial authorities said on Friday.

The Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate have issued explanations that specify crimes related to food safety and set standards for the punishment for these crimes, court spokesman Sun Jungong told a press conference.

The explanations are believed to form a rigorous system to punish crimes that threaten food safety, he said.

"The food safety situation is still very grave, because the number of crimes undermining food safety has been climbing with notorious cases related to food safety occurring now and then," he said, citing in particular cases involving the use of chemicals while processing meat products and the production of toxic bean sprouts.

The crimes have severely harmed public health, economic order and society, he added.

Some 2,088 people have been subject to punishment between 2010 and 2012 in 1,533 food safety cases. The number of such cases grew exponentially in the three years.

The number of poisonous food cases tried by Chinese courts rose from 80 in 2010 to 861 in 2012, Sun said.

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