Ten jailed for producing, selling 'gutter oil'

Updated: 2014-01-07 22:20


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JINAN - A man was given a suspended death sentence and two others life in jail for producing and selling poisonous food, a court in east China ruled on Tuesday.

The Jinan Intermediate People's Court in Shandong Province also sentenced seven other defendants involved in the case to between five and 15 years, as well as fining them between 500,000 and two million yuan (82,000 to 327,000 U.S. dollars) each.

In March 2001, Zhu Chuanfeng and his two brothers Zhu Chuanqing and Zhu Chuanbo, invested in building an oil plant to process and sell animal oil.

In 2006, they began to produce "gutter oil", which refers to oil illegally made by reprocessing waste oil or even leftovers from restaurants. It was then marketed and re-used as cooking oil.

They then sold the "gutter oil" to 17 edible oil dealers in Shandong and Shanxi provinces, with a sales value of 52.4 million yuan.

Zhu Chuanfeng was sentenced to death with a two year reprieve for producing, selling poisonous and harmful food, with all his personal assets seized.

Zhu's two brothers received life imprisonment and their personal assets were confiscated.

China has been clamping down on "gutter oil" as part of its food safety efforts. The oil, which contains carcinogenic substances, is dangerous if consumed.

In October, a man from eastern China's Jiangsu Province was sentenced to life imprisonment for profiting heavily from making and selling gutter oil. Fourteen others involved in the case were sentenced to up to 15 years in jail and fined up to 5 million yuan.

In April, 20 people were given jail terms ranging from seven years to life by a court in eastern China's Zhejiang Province for manufacturing and selling "gutter oil" in two provinces.