China arrests 248 people for food safety in 2010

BEIJING: A total of 248 people were arrested in China last year for involvement in food safety cases, state-run Xinhua news agency reported Sunday.

There were 130,000 cases involving food safety last year, including 115 criminal cases, according to a statement of the National Food Safety Regulating Work Office.

"No major incident occurred last year, and the overall food safety situation maintained stable," said the statement.

A total of 191 officials were punished for failing to do their duty in food safety enforcement, with 26 of them fired, the statement added.

Last year, Chinese authorities began nationwide crackdowns on "gutter oil," usually made from discarded kitchen waste that has been refined, and on the use of undisposed tainted milk powder.

About 2,132 tonnes of melamine-tainted milk powder was seized in the latest crackdown.

In 2008, melamine-tainted milk powder killed at least six infants and sickened 300,000 other children across the country. It was one of the biggest health scandals in China in years.


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