In a surprising and somewhat disturbing move, the Chinese government has executed the former head of its State Food and Drug Administration yesterday. According to the official Xinhua press agency, Zheng Xiaoyu was sentenced to death May 29 for accepting bribes to approve untested medicine. The medicine is suspected in at least 10 deaths.

China's Supreme Court rejected Zheng's final appeal. Xinhua did not disclose how Zheng was killed.

Meanwhile, China's top food and drug regulatory agencies held a press conference, emphasizing that they will step up measures to monitor and end counterfeit food and medicine. This all follows the well-publicized episodes of contaminated food, drug and other products from China that were discovered in recent months. International criticism has been severe. 

"Corruption in the food and drug authority has brought shame to the nation," Yan Jiangying, deputy policy director of the State Food and Drug Administration, told reporters. "What we will have to learn from the experience is to improve our work and emphasize public safety."

Source: Associated Press,