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Monday, July 09, 2007

Crime and Punishment

As we await Atty. General Coakley's announcement of charges in the Big Dig scandal, it is worthwhile to reflect how these matters are handled elsewhere in the world.

From the BBC World Service:

The former head of the State Food and Drug Administration, Zheng Xiaoyu, has been executed for corruption, the state-run Xinhua news agency reports. He was convicted of taking 6.5m Yuan ($850,000) (£425,400) in bribes and of dereliction of duty at a trial in May.

Zheng had appealed against his sentence, arguing that it was "too severe" and saying he had confessed his crimes and cooperated with police. But his appeal, heard in mid-June, was rejected shortly afterwards.

Following Zheng's sacking in 2005, the Chinese government announced a review of about 170,000 medical licences that were awarded during his tenure at the agency.

Dozens of people have died in China because of poor quality or fake drugs. Thirteen babies died of malnutrition in 2005 after being fed powdered milk that contained no nutritional value.

The Chinese government has recently announced an urgent review of industry food standards after public alarm over a recent spate of cases. US inspectors have blamed exported Chinese pet food ingredients, contaminated with melamine, for the deaths of cats and dogs in North America. And they recently halted shipments of toothpaste from China to investigate reports that they may be contaminated with toxic chemicals.

Yes, it's defintely Tom's of Maine for Porcupine for a little while. The United States has been fortunate that the contamination was not in children's breakfast cereal, and wonders if people are still so hell-bent upon the purchase of prescription drugs produced in foreign countries. Porcupine admits to some shock, despite the fact that this person may have killed his dog (HERE). And it would seem any fine we may impose upon Bechtel will be light action compared to a public beheading on City Hall Plaza!

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