BEIJING, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese police have arrested 76 people suspected of producing and trading toxic and harmful food online, according to the Ministry of Public Security.
Public security organs and food and drug watchdogs in China's 11 provincial-level regions have cracked down on 22 illegal factories that produced toxic, harmful food and drugs, involving 1.2 billion yuan (189.7 million U.S. dollars).
According to the ministry, a suspect surnamed Yan in charge of a chemical factory in east China's Shandong Province illegally organized people to produce crude illegal drugs to be added to food and sold to illegal workshops for mass production.
One "medicine" involved in the case costs about 5 yuan for a box to produce, but is sold for 125 yuan online and 300 yuan in drug stores, the ministry said.
Such food and drugs may have prominent short-term effects but can cause severe consequences to people's health, said the ministry, adding that although some foods did not pose a safety risk, they were overpriced and even delayed normal medical treatment.
Public security organs have told consumers, especially the elderly and those with chronic diseases, to only buy drugs and health care products via licensed stores and report to police if they find drugs and food with illegal ingredients.