China’s top court demands heavy penalties for food safety violations

China’s top court has demanded heavy penalties for companies and individuals who violate the country’s food safety laws, the official Xinhua news agency reported late on Wednesday. Supreme People’s Court said in a circular on Wednesday that companies selling food online should be held wholly liable for any safety issues affecting consumers and urged firms to compensate consumers more quickly.

The country’s main prosecutor also said that it had investigated 652 officials relating to misconduct over food safety protection, including for embezzlement and taking bribes, Xinhua reported. The probes took place since the start of 2014.