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Chinese farmer ends his life– cheated on seeds, humiliated and deprived of justice (3)

Posted by Author on May 30, 2010

By TOM LASSETER, McClatchy Newspapers, U.S, May. 30, 2010 –

<< previous

TIME FOR LUNCH with officials

The question of how bad seeds flooded the market and escaped official detection may be a simple case of greed and incompetence.

The two owners of the firm that sold the seed, Xinxiang Wu Feng Seed Industry Co., probably could give an answer, but they’ve been taken into custody for questioning, according to company employees. Two county officials are reported to be under investigation.

A senior researcher from the seed company, Zhao Xinming, acknowledged in a phone interview that his bosses hadn’t submitted the seeds to government inspectors and had sold them under false packaging. He said that the seeds weren’t the problem, blaming bad weather and worse farming practices.

Zhao said that his company and its owners had no ties to the government.

Local officials, though, act as if they have something to hide.

On a small country lane in Deng Zhuang last week, a silver minivan pulled up and four plainclothes policemen got out and asked a McClatchy reporter for his identification. A few minutes later, a black Hyundai showed up with five government representatives in it.

There would be no more interviewing locals about Peng. With the black Hyundai leading the way and the police van following, the authorities insisted that the reporter join them at a nearby hotel for lunch.

A crystal chandelier dangled from a gold ceiling in a private dining room. The officials ordered one course after the other – Beijing duck, a delicate mushroom soup, vegetables plucked from the mountains, ox tripe and sea plants, a large fish, spices and sweets – costing more than most villagers make in a month.

A man who was introduced as Tian Zhong of the Chinese Communist Party propaganda department said that one shouldn’t listen to what the farmers said, that they didn’t know anything. In fact, Peng’s own wife probably didn’t even know what her husband’s gender was, Tian said to guffaws at the table as the officials gorged themselves on more than a dozen dishes brought to the table by a pretty young waitress.

“He’s just a farmer,” Tian said of Peng, as he picked food from his teeth. “He doesn’t know what he was talking about.”

After the conversation ended, a county official confided that Tian’s real first name was Dong, not Zhong. He didn’t work for the propaganda department; he was the deputy director of the county’s agricultural bureau.

The reporter then was escorted back to the Zhumadian city limits. (to be cont’d)

Read more from McClatchy Newspapers: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/05/30/1655551_p3/cheated-on-seeds-deprived-of-justice.html

Related:
Chinese farmer ends his life– cheated on seeds, humiliated and deprived of justice (1)
Chinese farmer ends his life– cheated on seeds, humiliated and deprived of justice (2)

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