Tuesday, July 10, 2007

China Admits Food/Drug Safety Issues, Executes Official

People's Daily Online reports that the Chinese government admits that the developing country's food and drug safety system is inadequate and unsatisfactory.

Beset with internationally publicized incidents of shoddy production, and bribery scandals involving high-level officials within the food and drug safety system, the government has announced a 5-year plan to expand the inspection and monitoring process.

One drastic measure has just taken place. The International Herald Tribune reports that China executed Zheng Xiaoyu, the former chief of its food and drug agency, after he was convicted of taking bribes to approve untested medicines.

China exports a dizzying array of products throughout the world in ever and ever increasing quantities. Some experts are predicting that the China's global trade surplus will balloon to $400 billion dollars in 2008, or nearly 13% of the country's gross domestic product.

In the first six months of this year 34,400 instances of the production/sale of substandard food products have been uncovered. China recognizes that it must control the problem to save face and to protect its exports and standing on the world stage.

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