2011-11-26 9:44 PM
BEIJING: China penalised 113 people, including 17 government employees, over a chemical tainted pork scandal, official state media reported today.
The prime suspect, Liu Xiang, received the death sentence with two years’ reprieve on conviction of harming public safety, China Daily said.
Liu’s clandestine workshop producing a carcinogenic chemical clenbuterol, which is added to pig feed to produce leaner pork, was seized in Xiangyang city, Henan province in March. Clenbutoral is banned as livestock feed, as it can cause nausea, dizziness, headaches and heart palpitations in human beings. Liu’s collaborator, Xi Zhongjie, was sentenced to life.
The government employees, including animal health and food safety inspectors, were handed jail sentences ranging from 3 to 9 years.
The 36 pig farmers received lighter sentences, ranging from probation to jail terms under a year. In March, China Central Television reported that clenbuterol was detected in pigs bought by a subsidiary company of Shuanghui Group, China’s largest meat processor.
The investigation revealed that from 2007 to March 2011 the two associates sold over 2,700 kilograms of clenbuterol to pork farmers across eight provinces in China, the state media Xinhua reported.