China Increases Fiines, Prison Time for Food Safety Violations

The increased efforts of the Chinese government to crack down on food safety violations has fallen on deaf ears for many years, but the results of six cases this week appear to show that they are serious, as Shanghai courts are imposing longer sentences and raising fines for violators.

In the six cases on Monday, which included violations like the use of illegal chemicals and the sale of expired foods such as pork, oil, mooncakes, and crawfish, the courts found 10 people guilty of food safety violations with the average of the prison sentences handed down was 5.63 years, compared with an average of 3.13 years for 15 similar cases between 2011 and May 2013.

In one case, Ni Xiaogang, the manager of Shanghai Gurun Trade Co Ltd and Shanghai Ruijun Industrial Trade Co Ltd, was sentenced to 13 years in prison, four years more than the longest sentence previously given for such a case. Ni bought tallow oil from Australia and New Zealand fully knowing that it was suitable only for industrial use. He then sold it to an edible oil producer, Shanghai Shiming Oil, between February 2010 and January 2012, making more than 37 million yuan ($6.07 million) in profit.

Fines for offenders have also been raised from 283,000 yuan to more than 3.74 million yuan on average. To read more, click HERE.