World » Asia
Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

China executes its food and drug official because of American cats and dogs

Americans are ready to resort to any measures to curb China’s economic expansion. The trade war between Beijing and Washington even sacrifices human lives. Poisoning of pets in the USA may entail execution of Chinese officials.

China has sentenced former director of the State Food and Drug Administration Zheng Xiaoyu to death and executed the sentence soon after it was voiced by the Beijing court. Besides Zheng Xiaoyu, about thirty other people including the ex-director’s secretary and relatives are involved into the scandal. His property is now the state property, the wife and the adult son are arrested as accomplices, the Chinese agency Xinhua reports.

The harsh sentence is an infrequent thing for an official of such a high level, and the trial is unexampled for China. Zheng Xiaoyu, 63, was found guilty of dereliction of duty and taking over $850,000 in bribes. He took bribes in exchange for licenses to produce drugs without preliminary clinical tests. The high-ranking corrupt official was holding his position for seven years. And within the period he sanctioned production of over 277 medications, basically antibiotics.

The court decision states that the death sentence corresponds to the huge number of bribes and the damage the official has caused. For the time being, the Chinese authorities are checking the whole number of 170,000 licenses for drugs production issued by Zheng Xiaoyu during his service in the State Food and Drug Administration within the period of June 1997 to December 2006.

The American edition The Corporate Crime Reporter believes that the heavy sentence passed by the Chinese court is not at all connected with the tragic death of eleven Chinese of bad antibiotic in 2006.

In fact, the heavy sentence for the Chinese official is connected with a sweeping mortality of domestic pets, cats and dogs, in the USA after poisoning with poor-quality tinned food for pets. Tests revealed that pets died because of Chinese components, particularly highly toxic melamine, in the tinned food. In March 2007, at least 100 brands of animal food imported from China were recalled from the US market.

BBC reports that Americans are mad about domestic pets and inclined to barratry, and both characteristics may ruin producers of animal food that will probably also face trials.

The large-scale mortality of domestic pets has made Americans grow particularly anxious about healthy food. The Washington Post reported that over a couple of weeks last April America’s quarantine authorities arrested 107 batches of goods exported from China. Those were dried apples having a carcinogenic preserving agent, frozen cat-fish treated with an illegal antibiotic, mushrooms sprinkled with pesticides and sardines full of bacteria. What is more, the US customs service stopped import of over one thousand of batches of defective cosmetics and infringing medications brought from China.

Skeptics are sure that import of Chinese food may bring salmonella and even avian flu to the USA. There were some occasions when Chinese attempted to export poultry in boxes with the marking saying that there were dried lilies, plum slices or vegetables inside. And this huge number of violations was revealed at the time when the US customs manages to check just one percent of goods imported from China.

The situation has grown really very tense. The import of Chinese meat and poultry to the USA is prohibited as inspectors of the US Department of Agriculture were not allowed to the Chinese slaughter-houses and food producing enterprises. It is quite enough for Western mass media to launch a large-scale campaign under the slogans saying that Chinese export is killing to bring a catastrophe to China’s economy. The Corporate Crime Reporter supposes that in this situation Zheng Xiaoyu has turned out to be an expiatory sacrifice. The edition suggests comparing two juridical collisions to its readers.

This year, ex-head of the Food and Drug Administration Lester Crawford was also brought to trial for the same reasons that the Chinese official has been. In fact, the American official also agreed to help drug producers seeking immediate entering the market with getting licenses. But Crawford was sentenced to a three-year trial period while Zheng Xiaoyu was sentenced to death. The sentence passed for the Chinese official has a definite political background, the American edition states.

Mikhail Voznesensky

Translated by Maria Gousseva