China Imposes 'Zero Tolerance Policy' Against Fake Agricultural and Food Products

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China has lost all of its patience against crimes in relation to fake food, counterfeit drugs, and fake agricultural supplies. The nation has already launched a nationwide campaign to catch and penalize these criminals. China is also firmly acting to halt activities that can damage the environment. 

The crackdown has started last October 10, wherein additives have been banned, false advertisements are targeted, and counterfeit antineoplastic drugs and medicines purporting to cure chronic diseases have been confiscated. The campaign now includes the manufacturing and selling of either fake or ineffective pesticides, seeds as well as chemical fertilizers.

The government is also determined to halt illegal mining, fishing, and disposal of pollutants. This year, Chinese law enforcement officers have already solved more than 21,000 cases of this nature. Over 26,000 suspects and criminals related to these cases have been arrested. 

The crackdown is only set to intensify, given the comments of Sun Lijun, the deputy minister of public security. Lijun claimed that their office would have zero-tolerance for these crimes. Those who will be caught will be held accountable and will face severe punishments. 

Back in August, well before this campaign has been launched, the netizens have caused an uproar by questioning Chinese' authorities' penalties for fake drugs and food. They claimed these as being unfair, too lenient for a specific type of criminals and too harsh for others. 

For instance, when a public hospital in Shandong Province got caught in selling fake medicine, it was only fined 692.5 yuan or around $100.   

The hospital, Qingdao City Chenyan District People's Hospital, was caught selling phony dried citrus peel. However, when two street food vendors in Xi'an City was caught adding baking powder to flour to make deep-fried breadsticks that are known for having aluminum content, they were fined much higher than the hospital. The first vendor had to pay 140,000 yuan or $20,260, while the other hand to pay 230,000 yuan or $33,280. 

Another case that caught the Chinese public's attention was the detainment of a cancer patient, Zhai Yiping for helping patients he met through the Internet to buy anti-cancer drugs from Germany. Many in China tried to source their drugs abroad even through these unconventional means because foreign drugs sold in China are significantly more expensive after import duties and other restrictions in Beijing are factored into the price. Also though Zhai was able to help some liver cancer patients access drugs since 2016, he was detained for selling fake drugs.

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