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China food safety official kills himself amid probe

BEIJING, Aug 13 (Reuters) - A senior Chinese official in charge of food safety committed suicide after being questioned about suspected corruption, media reported on Wednesday.

China's food and drug safety records have come under domestic and international scrutiny after a series of health scares in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics. Wu Jianping, an official with the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), jumped to his death from a building on Aug 2, Caijing magazine said in a report posted on its website (www.caijing.com.cn) on Tuesday.

The director-general of the ministerial-level AQSIQ's Department of Supervision on Food Production had been questioned a day earlier by Beijing municipal prosecutors about his "economic problems", the report said, quoting unnamed sources.

Wu, 42, gave details about his property, which included several apartments in Beijing, it said.

Critics have blamed the food and drug scandals that led to dozens of deaths in the country partly on lax supervision and corruption. Zheng Xiaoyu, former head of the State Food and Drug Administration, was executed last year for taking bribes from drug firms and dereliction of duty. (Reporting by Guo Shipeng and Benjamin Kang Lim; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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