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Chinese man gets death for selling poison liquor
Updated: 2005-05-19 15:55

A Chinese court has sentenced a 26-year-old man to death for his role in a scandal in which moonshine "baijiu" killed 14 people, state media said on Thursday.

Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court in southern Guangdongprovince had convicted Cheng Caiming, a chemicals company owner, under a law banning the selling of "poisonous food", the Beijing Morning Post said.

Cheng sold 15 barrels of industrial alcohol, disguised asdrinkable alcohol, to a wholesaler last May.

The alcohol was later sold to four illegal breweries which made a liquor mixed with formaldehyde that killed 14 people and injured 41.

The court sentenced Cheng on Wednesday and jailed 14 otherdefendants, including the wholesaler, for up to 13 years for their involvement in the case, the paper said. Baijiu, or "white alcohol", is a popular high-proof spiritmade from sorghum.

Formaldehyde is widely used as a disinfectant and preservative for biological specimens.

Billions of dollars worth of counterfeit and substandardgoods, from baby milk power to luxury handbags, are produced every year in China. Last year, at least 13 Chinese babies died from malnutritionfrom drinking fake milk powder.

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