Over 8,000 held for food crimes in China

Beijing, June 19 (IANS) More than 8,200 people have been arrested in China since a crackdown on food safety crimes was launched in January, authorities said Wednesday.

The ministry of public security said police uncovered more than 4,500 cases involving food safety offences and closed about 6,300 workshops and markets that produced or sold illegal food products.

Police confiscated more than 150,000 illegal products, including spurious cooking oil, meat, spices and seasonings, health care products, alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and illegal additives, the ministry said.

China has seen many food safety scandals in recent years.

In 2008, six children died and 300,000 fell ill after consuming milk powder contaminated with melamine.

Other scandals involved adulterated mutton, lime-preserved eggs processed with copper sulphate and ginger grown with highly toxic pesticide.

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