China detains 22 in toxic medicine scandal

2012-04-17 12:19
Shanghai - Chinese police have detained 22 people for making drug capsules using a toxic raw material produced from scrap leather, state media said, in the latest in a strong of product safety scandals.

Police in the eastern province of Zhejiang found the suspects where they allegedly made and sold capsules with excessive levels of chromium after using industrial gelatin made from discarded leather, the Xinhua News agency said late on Monday.

Chromium, which has several industrial uses including leather tanning, can cause cancer.

Product safety

China has been hit by a series of product safety scandals, often involving food or pharmaceuticals, despite government pledges to improve supervision, and public outrage over lax controls and official corruption is on the increase.

According to Xinhua, at least half of the people detained worked for capsule makers in Zhejiang's Xinchang county, a major production base.

Police and government departments of Zhejiang and Xinchang county were not immediately available for comment.

According to the report, the industrial gelatin used to make the capsules came from other factories in the northern province of Hebei and the eastern province of Jiangxi.

Destroying evidence

In another twist to the scandal, police also detained a factory owner in Hebei for allegedly setting fire to his own plant to destroy evidence of making industrial gelatin, Xinhua said in a separate report on Tuesday.

Song Xunjie, manager of the Xueyang Glair Gelatin Factory, is said to be a supplier to companies across the country, it added.

The government's State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), the industry regulator, on Sunday also suspended sales of 13 types of drugs confirmed to have excessive levels of chromium.

The case is the latest in a long series of product safety scandals.

In November last year, authorities busted a gang that produced and sold fake medicine - some made of animal feed - arresting 114 suspects and seizing more than 65 million counterfeit tablets.

And Zheng Xiaoyu, former head of the SFDA, was executed in 2007 for accepting $850 000 in bribes in exchange for granting approval for hundreds of medicines, some later found to be dangerous.

Read more on:    china  |  health and safety
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

40% off top appliances!

Save 40% on the top 10 appliances on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save 20% on Camping gear!

Buy 4 camping items and save 20%. While stocks last. Shop now!

Fifty Shades of Grey!

This great read will captivate you from cover to cover and leave you itching for more. Get your copy now!

20% off braai items!

Save 20% when you buy 2 braai items. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Pampers!

Save 30% when you buy 3 or more selected pampers products. While stocks last. Shop now!

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You are on form and you may like an audience to share your ideas and concepts with. Drama and creativity flavour your...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.