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June 18, 2013

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Court says food safety fines need no limits

THERE should be no upper limit on fines for those found guilty of producing poisonous or otherwise harmful food in the city, the Shanghai Higher People's Court said yesterday.

Higher fines were among 10 suggestions for harsher punishment released by the city's higher court to crack down on food safety problems.

While the maximum penalty will continue to be death, the fine for such violations has been limited to twice the sales amount or less.

"In the past, a fine of 200,000 yuan (US$32,660) was deemed a very big amount," said Zou Bihua, vice president of the higher court. "But according to the new judicial guidance, the fine should be no less than twice the sales amount, and it will certainly get higher in future cases, without an upper limit."

Zou said hefty fines can prevent food safety criminals from repeat offenses since they would risk the ruin of a family's fortune.

"We will give sentences in line with the heaviest penalties of all crimes to combat food safety crimes," Zou said, calling it a deterrent.


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