China probes sale of fake blood protein

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The official Xinhua news agency said China has regulations for blood-based medicines, and the list will be expanded next year to include albumin.

Chinese authorities have struggled with recalls after the widespread sale of fake polio vaccines, vitamins and baby formula. Such incidents threaten both public health and faith in the government’s ability to control crime and corruption and ensure safety of food and drug supplies.

Last month, the country’s former top drug regulator was sentenced to death for taking bribes to approve substandard medicines, including an antibiotic blamed for at least 10 deaths.

The China Business News said yesterday the State Food and Drug Administration had seized fake blood protein from other provinces and regions including Shanxi, Hubei, Hunan, Ningxia, Qinghai and Chongqing.

The paper said the mother of Zhu Huazheng, from the eastern province of Shandong, died after using fake albumin from Beijing Tiantan Bioproducts Co. Ltd.

A company employee was quoted as saying that no albumin had been produced since February because of a shortage of raw materials.

“Many fake-product makers have seized the chance and sold bogus blood protein under our name. We are still investigating it,” said the unidentified employee. Telephones at the company rang unanswered yesterday.

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