Top court pledges to ensure food safety

Updated: 2012-07-31 17:32

By Zhao Yinan (

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China's top court has pledged on July 31 to strengthen the crackdown on the production of substandard food and medicine.

The pledge was made to curb a significant increase this year in those activities.

Sun Jungong, spokesman of the Supreme People's Court, said courts across the country filed 688 cases involving substandard and fake drug manufacturing and trading in the first half of 2012. The figure is about 70 percent higher than the total number of cases in 2011.

Food safety disputes have also seen a noticeable increase in the number of cases filed this year. Sun said the number of cases received by the end of June stood at 330, close to the total number in 2011.

Miao Youshui, vice-director of the Second Criminal Tribunal under the Supreme People's Court, said that one of the reasons that contributed to the increase was the tightened crackdown on substandard medicine and food production and sales, both in legislation and judicial practice.

"The National People's Congress lowered the threshold for the constitution of the crime of substandard food and medicine manufacturing and dealing in 2011," he said.

China amended its Criminal Law in 2011 and introduced the specific crimes of manufacturing and dealing poisoned and harmful food and medicine. Prior to that, those activities were usually treated like general crimes, such as counterfeit products production.