News 1 commentlast update:6 Aug 2012

Life time in prison for unsafe food

China unveiled a new draft food safety law on Sunday that provides for penalties of up to life imprisonment for people responsible for the production of substandard food.

The National People's Congress, or parliament, is seeking public comments on the draft until May 20, the official Xinhua news agency said.

It did not give a timeframe for the law's approval, but most drafts that reach the stage of seeking public comments generally pass with few changes to them.

Lesser violations of the law could incur fines, confiscation of income from sales of substandard products, or revocation of licenses, Xinhua said.

China has been hit by a series of food safety problems in the past few years, coming into the global spotlight last year through scandals over the quality of exported toothpaste, pet food and fish.

Domestic fears about food safety grew in 2004, when at least 13 babies died of malnutrition in Anhui province, in the east of the country, after they were fed fake milk powder with no nutritional value.

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