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Death Penalty

China Executes Ex-Drug Chief

Posted Jul 10, 2007 8:22 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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China has executed the former director of its Food and Drug Administration for taking bribes to approve medicines.

Zheng Xiaoyu was convicted of taking cash and gifts worth more than $800,000 to approve untested medicine, according to the Associated Press. He oversaw the food and drug agency from 1998 to 2005.

One antibiotic approved by the agency killed at least 10 people, and six other medicines were fakes, according to the wire service.

The death sentence is harsh even for China, which the AP says carries out more court-ordered executions than all other nations combined. The bribery case is believed to be an indication that China wants to improve its product safety record.

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