China says official's death sentence is a 'warning'

China says official's death sentence is a 'warning'

China says official's death sentence is a 'warning'

Updated 19 December 2011, 15:04 AEDT

China's governnment says the death sentence given to the former head of its drug and food watchdog for corruption is a warning to top officials.

Zheng Xiaoyu, former head of the State Food and Drug Administration, faces execution after a Beijing court convicted him on Tuesday of graft and dereliction of duty.

Zheng, 62, was head of the agency from 1998 to 2005, and was found to have taken bribes from eight companies.

During his tenure, dozens of people died in China from bad drugs and food products.

In 2004 at least 13 babies died of malnutrition in Anhui province after being fed fake milk powder containing no nutrition.

The safety of China's food is under the international spotlight after toxic Chinese toothpaste was exported to Latin America and poisoned wheat gluten and rice protein was exported to America and used in pet food, killing some cats and dogs.

Topics: