Former Chinese Food and Drug Supervisor Sentenced to Death

June 2, 2007 Updated: June 2, 2007

According to China News and China Court websites, Zheng Xiaoyu, former director of China's State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) was sentenced to death by the Beijing No.1 Intermediate People's Court.

Analysts point out that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has used the death penalty in the Zheng case to appease international concerns and condemnations received over China's export of contaminated food, tainted pet food and counterfeit prescription drugs.

Zheng was tried on eight charges of bribery and three of dereliction of duty. The court accused of Zheng of accepting bribes totaling about 6.45 million yuan (US$850,000).

During his trial, Zheng admitted accepting the bribes, but denied the charges of dereliction of duty. Zheng made many references to Cao Wenzhuang, who was former director of department of Drug Registration under SFDA.

Cao worked as secretary to Zheng, and in 2002 became director of department of Drug Registration. According to a recent British Broadcasting Company report quoting China's media, 150,000 of 172,000 Drug Approval Numbers had been handled by Cao.

Cao's appeared at Zheng's trial as witness for the prosecution. His testimony implicated both himself and Zheng as accepting bribes. Cao has also been accused of taking bribes. It is said that Cao will be prosecuted when Zheng's case is concluded.

Although Zheng's wife, Liu Naixue, and their son Zheng Hairong were also suspected of receiving bribes, they were not prosecuted. Liu, who needs to take care of her elderly mother, was granted bail after her arrest.

Although Zheng has severe diabetes, his application for bail for medical treatment has been denied.

CCP Uses Zheng to Appease International Condemnation

Mainland observers noted that public access to Zheng's trial was under tight control. According to the CCP, the trial was public. However, the court did not allow reporters or journalists to attend the hearing, saying that there were no more trial guest passes.

Epoch Times columnist Wang Yifeng commented that Zheng's bribes, totaling 6.45 million yuan, are minor when compared to the over 300 million in bribes accepted by Zhou Zhengyi and the billions of yuan accepted by Jiang and his gang of political cronies.

Wang suggests that the CCP sentenced Zheng to death in an attempt to dispel the cloud of controversy raised by the discovery that China has been selling poisoned foods and contaminated drugs around the world. By making Zheng a scapegoat and disposing of him harshly and swiftly, the Chinese regime hopes to dispel the growing concerns about the quantities and composition of contaminated and counterfeit products shipped overseas by China every day..

Biography of Zheng Xiaoyu

Zheng Xiaoyu was born in Fujian Province in 1944. He graduated from the Department of Biology at Fudan University in 1968. He has 23 years of experience in the drug manufacturing industry. Zheng was appointed as director of the National Drug Surveillance and Administration Bureau in 1994, the first director of the SFDA after the State Council's reorganized the department in March 1998.

On June 22, 2005, Zheng was removed from the post of director of SFDA. In December 2006, he was accused of taking bribes during his eight years as China's top drug regulator. In March 2007, his case was sent to China's judicial system for investigation.