Of­fi­cials urged to fo­cus on food and drug safety

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By ZHANG YAN zhangyan1@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Prose­cu­tors must fo­cus their at­ten­tion on dere­lic­tion of duty by of­fi­cials and mal­prac­tice con­cern­ing food and drug safety or the en­vi­ron­ment, a se­nior pros­e­cu­tor from the Supreme People’s Procu­ra­torate said.

“These re­late to people’s lives and health, and we will pun­ish any­one found guilty,” said Cao Jian­ming, gen­eral pros­e­cu­tor of the SPP.

Cao said cases han­dled by pros­e­cut­ing de­part­ments have soared sharply.

In 2013, na­tional pros­e­cut­ing au­thor­i­ties in­ves­ti­gated 13,070 people (up 11.8 per­cent from 2012) on 9,230 cases of malfea­sance and dere­lic­tion of duty (up 14.2 per­cent from 2012), the SPP said.

In the same year, prose­cu­tors dealt with 5,184 ma­jor cases, an in­crease of 23.9 per­cent from 2012.

Of those, 80 per­cent in­volved food and drug safety or the en­vi­ron­ment.

Pros­e­cut­ing de­part­ments su­per­vised the trans­fer of 3,984 sus­pects in­volved in 3,148 crimes from en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion de­part­ments to pub­lic se­cu­rity or­gans in 2013, the SPP said.

Prose­cu­tors also su­per­vised the ar­rest of 5,409 sus­pects charged in 4,290 crimes.

One well-pub­li­cized case oc­curred in June 2013 when six sus­pects, headed by Zhao Lin, were ac­cused of dam­ag­ing the en­vi­ron­ment by the pros­e­cut­ing depart­ment in He­gang, Hei­longjiang prov­ince.

Eight law en­force­ment of­fi­cers from the He­gang forestry depart­ment were also charged with dere­lic­tion of duty, ac­cord­ing to the SPP.

The case fol­lowed an ear­lier in­ves­ti­ga­tion into crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity.

In early 2013, prose­cu­tors from He­gang pros­e­cut­ing depart­ment un­cov­ered ev­i­dence dur­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into a crim­i­nal gang, headed by Zhao, that law en­force­ment of­fi­cers in the lo­cal forestry depart­ment had ac­cepted bribes and used their po­si­tions to cover up crimes in­volv­ing il­le­gal log­ging.

Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang stressed that China will im­prove its food and drug safety su­per­vi­sion and strengthen pol­lu­tion con­trol, when he de­liv­ered the govern­ment work re­port dur­ing the re­cent two ses­sions.

“We can’t shrink from our re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­hance su­per­vi­sion of food and drug safety, as well as pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment,” Cao said.

DING TING / XIN­HUA

A stu­dent checks food sam­ples at a lab­o­ra­tory set up at a Car­refour su­per­mar­ket in Shang­hai in March to learn more about food safety. Last year, prose­cu­tors na­tion­wide dealt with 5,184 ma­jor cases, with 80 per­cent of them in­volv­ing food and drug safety or the en­vi­ron­ment.

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