May 31, 2007

China's top drug regulator given death penalty for corruption, negligence

China's top drug regulator was sentenced to death on charges of corruption and negligence, state media said Tuesday, the latest development stemming from growing alarm over the country's poor food-safety record.
Zheng Xiaoyu was convicted and sentenced "on charges of taking bribes and dereliction of duty" at the Beijing Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People's Court, the Xinhua News Agency said in a brief dispatch. No other details were given.

Zheng was fired in 2005 on charges he took up to $780,000 in bribes to approve medicine that had not been tested to ensure its safety.

State media have reported that drugs improperly approved by Zheng's agency included an antibiotic that killed at least 10 patients last year before it was taken off the market.

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