Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Dalia Grybauskaite, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

  • Israel identifies ‘missing’ soldier in Gaza

    Read more

  • Hollande says French warship delivery will ‘depend on Russia’s attitude’

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs ' €80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels release bodies, black boxes from flight MH17

    Read more

  • Widodo poised to become Indonesian president

    Read more

  • An ‘explosion of violence’: French press reacts to Gaza protests

    Read more

  • Notorious ‘VIP’ prison in Paris closed for renovations

    Read more

  • Christians in Iraq's Mosul face execution or exodus

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Libyan militias fight over airport

    Read more

  • Ukraine football players refuse to return home after friendly in France

    Read more

  • China steps up communist education to guard against ‘moral decline’

    Read more

  • French rugby stars attacked with machetes and swords

    Read more

  • Hollande announces new military operation in West Africa

    Read more

Asia-pacific

China arrests thousands in food safety crackdown

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-08-04

China has arrested around 2,000 people in a major four-month campaign against toxic food additives in a bid to reassure consumers after a spate of contaminated food scandals.

AFP - China has arrested around 2,000 people and closed nearly 5,000 businesses in a major crackdown on illegal food additives after a wave of contamination scares, the government said.

China launched the campaign in April following a spate of tainted food scandals -- included toxic milk, dyed buns and pork found on the market so loaded with bacteria that it reportedly glowed in the dark.

Nearly six million food businesses have now been investigated as part of the crackdown, launched in an effort to shore up plummeting public confidence in Chinese-made food products.

More than 4,900 were shut down for "illegal practices", the government's Food Safety Commission said in a statement late Wednesday.

Police have also destroyed "underground" food production and storage sites, and arrested around 2,000 suspects, it said, adding that anyone found breaking the law would be severely punished.

"All regions and relevant departments will continue to carry out the crackdown on illegal food additives and firmly punish criminals and spare no effort to safeguard peoples' food safety," it said.

China has repeatedly pledged to clean up its vast food industry after milk products tainted with the industrial chemical melamine, added to give the appearance of high protein content, killed at least six babies and sickened 300,000 in 2008.

The scandal caused huge outrage and the following year China passed a food safety law to try to allay public concern but the country has since been hit with numerous food scares.

Authorities have discovered bean sprouts laced with cancer-causing nitrates, steamed buns with banned chemical preservatives, and rice laced with heavy metals, prompting the latest crackdown.

In June, police in southern China detained a factory owner suspected of mixing an industrial chemical used to soften plastics -- known as DEHP -- into food additives, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Xinhua said the initial investigation suggested the company, Yuyan Food Co in Dongguang City, Guangdong province, may have imported raw materials contaminated with DEHP from Taiwan.

Experts say there are many causes of food safety problems in China, including ambiguous regulations that create loopholes and underfunded regulators who struggle to keep tabs on countless small food producers and retailers.

In May, China's top court ordered capital punishment for food safety crimes that result in fatalities.

A former pharmaceutical factory worker was last month given a two-year suspended death sentence -- usually commuted to life -- for making clenbuterol, an illegal fat-burning chemical, which was sold to pork producers.

The sentencing of Liu Xiang and four others, who received jail terms ranging from nine years to life, was broadcast live on state television, highlighting the level of public concern over tainted pork, a staple in the Chinese diet.

Date created : 2011-08-04

COMMENT(S)