Harsher punishment ordered on food safety crimes

Updated: 2011-05-27 23:04
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BEIJING - The country's courts have been ordered to impose even harsher punishments on food safety crimes and work-related crimes concerning food safety.

The Supreme People's Court, in a recent notice, said courts should hand down the death sentence to those found guilty of food safety violations that result in human death, according to a statement from the supreme court Friday.

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If a person is found guilty of committing several crimes in one case, such as food safety crimes, the crime of producing and selling counterfeit and shoddy goods, infringement of intellectual property rights and illegal business dealings, he should be convicted of the crime with the harshest punishment and punished accordingly, the notice said.

The notice ordered courts to impose larger fines on people guilty of food safety violations, and suggested courts ban criminals from producing and selling food during their probation period.

The supreme court also urged severe punishments for government staff members who shield people who commit food safety violations, as well as those who take bribes from criminals and neglect their duty.

The supreme court called for open trials of major food safety cases and related information made public in a timely manner.

The notice said "food safety concerns the people's interests and livelihoods, social stability and the future of socialism with Chinese characteristics."

The situation of food safety is generally stable and improving, but the task to ensure food safety is still arduous, it said.