China Sentences Ex-Drug Chief to Death

Bribery conviction signals pharmaceutical industry crackdown
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2007 3:03 PM CDT
A Chinese pharmacist checks his stocks of medicine at a hospital...   (Getty Images)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – China's former top food and drug watchdog was sentenced to death today after being convicted of corruption and dereliction of duty. In the midst of an international uproar over food and pharmaceutical standards, the government found that Zheng Xiaoyu, 63, who was forced out in 2005, accepted more than $850,000 in bribes to approve questionable drugs and medical licenses.

Tainted pet food, cold medicine, and toothpaste traced to China are just the most recent examples of an out-of-control system connected to "Zheng's unlawful and disorderly time in office," one Chinese law professor told Thomson Financial. As part of its ongoing review of standards, the government announced today that it will institute a food-recall system for the first time.