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China drug safety probe nets local council chief

BEIJING -- A township council chief in northern China has been arrested on suspicion of ordering the torching of a factory that made gelatin capsules made from industrial waste.

State broadcaster CCTV said Sunday that Song Jiangxin had been found to have made a phone call ordering that the factory in Hebei province be set ablaze and all records destroyed. Song's brother owns the factory.

The scandal is the latest to rock China's pharmaceutical industry, which suffers from abundant fakery and substandard ingredients. Another 23 people in eastern China have also been arrested on suspicion of using the Hebei factory's capsules, which contain dangerous levels of the chemical chromium.

Township and county clerks said they had no information about the case.

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