Tuesday, May 29, 2007
In a surprisingly harsh decision, the former head of China's food and drug agency was given a death sentence for the corruption of his department.
Zheng Xiaoyu was convicted on charges of taking bribes and dereliction of duty.
The severity of the sentence probably had something to do with China's embarassments over the pet food poisoning scandal as well as others involving toothpaste manufactured in China, but Xiaoyu's corruption apparently predated these events by years.
Xiaoyu was convicted with taking bribes from pharmaceutical companies amounting to more than 6.5 million yuan ($850,000 US). There is a long list of Chinese patients who died from drugs that were approved by his department and later found to be unsafe.
This is quite a story. It speaks to a lot of issues in China as well as issues we deal with in the U.S.