More than 10,000 people prosecuted in China over food safety

Feb. 22, 2014 at 12:43 PM

BEIJING, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- More than 10,000 people were prosecuted in China between 2011 and 2013 for producing and selling substandard and poisonous food, authorities said.

Most of the 10,100 suspects were self-employed business people, farmers or unemployed, China's state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.

Nie Jianhua, the director in charge of public prosecution for China's Supreme People's Procuratorate, said Friday the problematic food was produced and sold in illegal workshops, factories and markets.

Among those prosecuted was a man named Liu Liguo, who sold over $16 million worth of "gutter oil" -- a recycled oil made from oil found in gutters behind restaurants and inedible animal oil. It is dangerous if consumed.

Liu was sentenced to life in prison in 2013.

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