People who sell harmful or dangerous food to children or elderly people in or around schools, kindergartens or nurseries will face harsher punishment, China's top judicial authorities said.
Implementing tougher penalties will not only provide special protection for young and old people, the new arrangement will also ensure what they eat is safe, according to a revised judicial interpretation on handling criminal cases involving food safety.
The 26-article legal document was jointly issued by the Supreme People's Court, the country's top court, and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the country's top procuratorate, on Friday, and it will take effect the next day.
He Li, chief judge of the top court's No 1 Criminal Division, said they amended the judicial interpretation to respond to public concerns and meet people's new legal demand.
For example, some people were found cheating senior citizens out of money by selling so-called healthy food, or providing expired milk powder to children, which damaged people's property and health rights.
"To solve such problems, the revised document makes special rules on primary and secondary food for babies and children to ensure the safety of the kids' main source of nutrients," she said.
Chinese courts handled more than 38,000 cases and over 52,000 defendants were given sentences from 2013 to this year, the top court's data showed.