BEIJING, May 26 (Xinhuanet) --Unrelenting food safety scandals have prompted the country's legislative body to take action. The Supreme People's Court says tougher punishments for food safety crimes have now been amended into criminal law.
Melamine milk, poisoned vegetables, and recycled buns.
Those who make or distribute such foods, may need to rethink the possible consequence of their actions more carefully.
Pei Xianding, Judge of Supreme People's Court said "Under the new Criminal Law, anyone involved in food safety crimes will face at least term imprisonment. The new amendment also lifts the cap for fines. These people need to understand such illegitimate deals could cost them their entire fortune."
The amendment also targets the negligence of supervision.
Pei Xianding said "The strictest punishment used to be seven-years in prison. Now it's ten."
A milk safety scandal came into the spotlight in 2008. Thousands of infants were diagnosed with kidney stones, after being fed tainted milk powder produced by the Sanlu Group, one of China's largest dairy firms.
Investigations found the company's products contained the toxic chemical melamine, to increase the milk's protein levels. The scandal forced the Sanlu group out of business, and incurred the death sentence for two workers.
Last month, moldy steamed bread in Shanghai was found treated with sweeteners and dye to make it seem fresh.
Five managers of the bun production factory were later arrested, and four local officials punished for dereliction of duty.