I was going to open the post wondering how many years Bill Marler would get for his activisim, but really, it is not a matter for tounge-in-cheek jests. There are reports today that a man who created a support group for victims of melamine poisoning in China has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for his efforts:
Zhao Lianhai had pushed for greater official accountability and compensation for victims and their families after the 2008 scandal that shocked China. His sentence appeared particularly severe because the case related to a public safety incident that the embarrassed leadership had pledged to tackle in a bid to restore consumer confidence.
"We’d expected it to be much less than that. It is such a harsh sentence," lawyer Li Fangping said. "The crimes he was accused of were nothing more than what regular citizens would do to defend their rights."
Zhao, a Beijing resident whose young son was among the nearly 300,000 children sickened by melamine-tainted milk, vowed to appeal and began a hunger strike to protest the verdict, Li said.
Zhao has been imprisoned since November of last year.
There is plenty for a food safety activist to do here in the U.S. Thankfully, we are not likely to go to jail for trying.