BEIJING, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Supreme People's Court (SPC) on Thursday issued a judicial interpretation that provides more protection for food and drug consumers.
The document, which will go into effect on March 15, stipulates that spokespeople shall assume joint liability for endorsing food or drugs that are promoted with false claims, along with producers and sellers of suspect products.
"Food and drugs are all special products closely related to the public's health, and both celebrities and advertising agents are obliged to affirm the safety of their endorsed products," said Wang Chenguang, professor of law at Tsinghua University.
Pop stars and advertising agents should be held liable for overblown or false promotion, Wang added.
The 18-item interpretation has rigorously explained laws and offered greater protection to consumers, said Wang Liming, vice president of Renmin University.
Food and drug disputes have increased slightly in the past few years. Figures from the SPC showed that courts across China accepted and heard a total of 13,216 such cases between the period from 2010 to 2012.
The document also noted that producers and sellers shall bear legal liability for offering food and drug products as free promotional gifts if they harm customers due to quality problems.
"The costs of gifts have been included in the price of products and therefore producers and sellers should compensate buyers for damages caused by the gifts," said Sun Jungong, spokesperson for the SPC.