The former head of China's top food and drug safety agency was sentenced to death Tuesday after pleading guilty to corruption and accepting bribes, the state-controlled news media reported.
Zheng Xiaoyu, who served as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration from its founding in 1998 until mid-2005, was detained in February as part of a government investigation into corruption at the agency.
The unusually harsh sentence for the 62-year-old former commissioner came at a time of heightened concern about the quality and safety of China's food and drug system, following a series of scandals here involving tainted food and counterfeit drugs.
This isn't just a bureaucrat accepting C-notes for favours. According to the article Chinese exports have been responsible for the following deaths and sicknesses:
- pet food recall in North America
- diethylene glycol, a toxic chemical used to make antifreeze, ended up in cough syrup and toothpaste in Latin America
- 100 Panamanians dying as a result of injesting cough medicine laced with diethylene glycol
- Chinese-made toothpaste tainted with diethylene glycol was pulled off store shelves in Panama, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua
- Last year 11 people died in China after being treated with an injection tainted by a fake chemical
- 6 Chinese died and 80 fell ill after taking an antibiotic that was produced with what regulators later said was a "substandard disinfectant"
Zheng is being held ultimately responsible. And they say shit only rolls downhill. Scary.