A man was sentenced a suspended death penalty on Monday for his role in China’s latest tainted pork scandal, Reuters reported.
Four other people were convicted of “endangering public security by using dangerous means” and issued sentences from nine years to life imprisonment.
The country has enforced harsher penalties against food-safety violators since the melamine-laced milk powder episode in 2008 when six babies died and 300,000 became sick.
In March, the state media reported that Shuanghui Group — China’s largest meat processor — was producing and selling clenbuterol-tainted pork by feeding the chemical to pigs in order to eliminate fat and produce muscle. The meat is then sold as a premium product in the marketplace.
If consumed by humans, the banned “lean meat powder” causes nausea, dizziness and heart palpitations.
In February 2009, at least 70 people became ill after consuming tainted pork in China.
In 2006, two people were sentenced to death after more than 300 people became sick in a similar pork episode.
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