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China serves up new food safety penalties

( English.news.cn ) Updated: 2014-06-27 10:56:44

According to the bill, consumers can demand reparation worth of three times of loss they suffer from substandard food. Current law only allows compensation of ten times of the price of food.

As substandard food can be very cheap and can cause serious health problems and great financial losses, consumers expect to get higher compensation if the revision is adopted.

Bigger fines for offenders are also on the menu. Producers can face fines of up to 30 times of the value of their products, up from ten times in the current law. If the products are worth less than 10,000 yuan (1,600 U.S. dollars), those involved can be fined a maximum of 150,000 yuan, up from 50,000 yuan in the current law.

The bill adds provisions to punish landlords of production sites who know that illegal activities are being undertaken on their property, and suppliers who sell unlawful substances to producers, knowing that they will be added to foods. Their illegal income will be seized and they can be fined up to 200,000 yuan.

Administrative penalties, such as demotion and dismissal, will be imposed on officials who fail to respond to food safety emergencies and remove loopholes. They will also be held responsible for food safety cover-ups. Similar punishments will be dished out to officials with food and drug regulatory agencies, health and agriculture departments.

Those caught abusing their power and neglecting their duty for personal gain will face criminal penalties.

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