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Chinese Food and Drug Official Executed for Accepting Bribes

China announced Tuesday its chief food and drug official has been executed for accepting bribes. Independent Television News reports from the region on the investigation that led to his execution.

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    The execution of a corrupt food and drug regulator in China. We have a report from Lindsey Hilsum of Independent Television News.

  • LINDSEY HILSUM, ITV News Correspondent:

    Executed today, just six weeks after sentencing, the former head of China's food and drug administration who took more than 400,000 pounds in bribes to license poor quality and fake medicines.

    Police raid a counterfeit pharmaceutical factory in Guangdong province. Officials often turn a blind eye to backstreet factories like this. Zheng Xiaoyu's rapid execution was a message from the central government to Chinese and foreign consumers who worry that medicines made in China could be ineffective or even lethal.

    YAN JIANGYING, State Food and Drug Administration, China (through translator): The few corrupt officials of the state food and drug administration are the shame of the whole system, and their scandals have revealed some very serious problems. I think we need to reflect seriously on what lessons we can draw from such cases; we should step up our efforts in food and drug supervision to ensure safety for the people.

    DAVID FERNYHOUGH, Hill and Associates: The further you get away from Beijing, the more opaque things get. And at a provincial and municipal level, the corruption, the influence of the people who are involved, quite often officials themselves are involved, involvement of state-run enterprises, it makes it a very, very, very difficult environment.