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The former official, Zheng Xiaoyu, who had been sentenced to death on May 29, was executed Tuesday, the Xinhua News Agency reported. Zheng was found guilty of taking 6.49 million yuan, or about $850,000, in bribes, including cash and gifts, and dereliction of duty, Xinhua reported. Zheng "sought benefits" for eight pharmaceutical companies by approving their drugs and medical devices during his tenure as China's chief drug and food official from June 1997 to December 2006, according to the media report.

During Zheng's tenure, six types of medicine were approved that turned out to be fake and some pharmaceutical companies used false documents to apply for approvals.

In comments on Zheng's case, a spokeswoman for the State Food and Drug Administration, Yan Jiangying, said Tuesday that corrupt officials have shamed the country's food and drug supervision system, Xinhua reported.

"We should seriously reflect and learn from these cases," Yan said. "We should fully protect public food and drug safety. The new drug registration regulation, which will come out soon, will ensure the transparency of the drug approval procedure."

In late June, China shut down 180 food producers that were found to be using improper industrial chemicals and additives.

Also last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it is imposing stricter controls on farm-raised Chinese seafood because of long-term health concerns about contamination with drugs and unsafe food additives, but that there is no immediate danger to consumers.

The action, which was effective immediately, covers farm-raised shrimp, eel, catfish, and two other kinds of fish, basa and dace, from China, the world's largest producer of farmed fish and the third-largest exporter of seafood to the United States.


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