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Zheng Xiaoyu, 62, former head of China’s State Food and Drug Administration, was sentenced to death by the Chinese government today for accepting bribes and dereliction of duty.
Worried, no doubt, about the possible economic impact of proposed trade sanctions, the government picked a fall guy as it seeks to control growing scandals about its lack of food and health safety. They also say they’ll institute standards in the food and drug industries.
This raises a number of issues, including:
– why don’t American companies test incoming ingredients for possible lethal contamination of food and drugs?
– why hasn’t the FDA created — at least — temporary trade sanctions of Chinese food and medicine?
Xiaoyu was convicted on charges of taking $832,000 — pocket change by Western scandal standards — in bribes and dereliction of duty, according to China’s official Xinhua News Agency.
Under Zheng’s watch, says CNN, dozens died in China from fake or bad drugs and food products. In one of the most notorious cases, in 2004, at least 13 babies died of malnutrition in Anhui province after being fed fake milk powder with no nutritional value.
Tens of thousands of dogs and cats in the United States are dead or sick as a result of poison pet food ingredients imported from China, and tainted glycerin used in children’s fever and cough remedies and toothpaste is under investigation in the U.S. and South America.
The motivation for the use of poisons is economic – simply put, the poisonous ingredients are cheaper – and life, also is apparently cheap in China.
Related? The name of the FDA’s Deputy Director of Vaccines is Mary Malarkey. Dear Ms. Malarkey: You might want to consider a name change.
Posted by B.L. Ochman