China has vowed to get tough on those found guilty of food safety crimes. Very tough. The Chinese state media reported that the death penalty will be imposed for perpetrators who â€˜deserve it.â€™
Documents released by four government agencies including the Supreme People’s Court and the Ministry of Public Security urged a “high-voltage” crackdown on food safety criminals, the official Xinhua news agency said.
Food safety has become a major issue in China in the wake of scandals involving food contamination and the illegal use of banned substances. This despite government pledges to take care of these problems. Only recently, officials in central China acknowledged they had waited five months before alerting the public that a brand of cooking oil had been discovered to contain excessive carcinogens.
This would not be the first time the ultimate punishment would be carried out for food safety crimes in China. In 2008, two people were executed for their role in the melamine scandal. Melamine-contaminated milk was blamed in the deaths of at least six infants and an estimated 300,000 people became ill from it. Melamine was illegally added to give the appearance of higher protein content in the milk.
The announcement comes about two months before Shanghai will serve as host city for the China International Food Safety & Quality Conference + Expo (CIFSQ) in November.