China executes former head of Food & Drug Administration

China has executed the former head of the food and drug safety agency who was found guilty of taking bribes. The former head of China's State Food and Drug Administration was sentenced to death in May for accepting bribes from pharmaceutical companies for approval of new drugs, including fake ones.

China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported that the execution was carried out on Tuesday morning. Xinhua says the supreme court approved the death penalty, taking note of the enormous social impact of the bribery scandal. NHK's correspondent in Beijing says the Chinese government apparently wanted to show it is cracking down hard on those who neglect public safety, amid growing international concern over Chinese-made food and drugs.

That is a really severe punishment and I can't believe they actually think China or its food products' reputation abroad will improve through this action.

According to BBC, spokeswoman Yan Jiangying said:

"As a developing country, China's food and drug supervision work began late and its foundations are weak."

"Therefore, the food and drug safety situation is not something we can be optimistic about."

She said Zheng Xiaoyu's case had "brought shame" on the department, adding that anyone who abused their power would be punished.

Chinese officials have already acknowledged that the country could face social unrest and a tarnished image abroad unless improvements are made.

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