While we may have several problems with the way the American FDA handles several issues, or, in our opinion, fails to handle them, we can all agree that we are fortunate to live in a country where the penalty associated with committing a crime when leading an agency like the FDA is much more civil and reasonable than that faced by Chinese officials.
In a disturbing story published by the BBC, it was reported that the former head of China's State Food and Drug Administration, Zheng Xiaoyu, was executed after being convicted in May on charges of corruption. Zheng was convicted of accepting bribes that totaled $850,000 American, and these bribes were linked to the approval of several medicines that were linked to deaths.
A Chinese government spokesperson attempted to explain the relation of this case to the overall crisis regarding safety standards for products in China:
"As a developing country, China's food and drug supervision work began late and its foundations are weak," spokeswoman Yan Jiangying said. "Therefore, the food and drug safety situation is not something we can be optimistic about."