Chinese authorities said they will implement an intensified crackdown on crimes related to "gutter oil," or cooking oil recycled from restaurant leftovers, vowing to hand down the death penalty for cases that are serious enough.
"Courts must give full consideration to suspects' subjective malignance, the amount of money involved and the harm done to the public and the market when ruling in gutter oil cases. For those deserving death, death penalties must be resolutely given," said a Thursday notice.
Harsh punishments should also be given to government officials and civil servants who fail to fulfill duties related to vegetable oil safety, according to the notice, which was jointly issued by the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate and the Ministry of Public Security (MPS).
MPS figures show that police have busted 100 gutter oil manufacturers since August 2011 and arrested some 800 suspects in 135 related cases in a special campaign launched last year.
According to the notice, suspects involved in gutter oil-related cases will be investigated for criminal liability in accordance with regulations on producing unsafe food products.