Yes, it is true. Three company officials were sentenced to jail for five to nine years for adding dye to buns. They were sentenced on Monday by a Shanghai court as part of a crackdown by China after there have been a string of food safety scandals. The three men who were sentenced to jail were executives of the Shenglu Food Company.
They were found responsible for adding a yellow dye to a steamed bun that is made of corn flour illegally. This same company has also re-sold old products by changing the expiration date on the packaging.
The three men that were sentenced to jail were the sales manager, production manager, and general manager. In addition to jail time they were each fined between twelve thousand and one hundred two thousand dollars.
Earlier this month thirty two people were arrested by the government over the selling of cooking oils that were made from leftovers that were taken from gutters. One of the biggest scandals happened in 2008. This was when large amounts of an industrial chemical melamine were found to have been added to dairy products illegally. Adding this chemical gave the dairy products the appearance of higher protein content.
A year ago the authorities in China which include the Ministry of Public Security and the Supreme People’s Court were calling for tougher penalties in food safety violations. They are even calling for the death penalty for serious food safety violation cases.