A Chinese court on Monday handed out long sentences, including a suspended death penalty, who were involved in the production and sale of pork tainted with a poisonous chemical, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The pigs were fed clenbuterol for producing lean meat that sells for a premium in China, which is the world’s largest producer and consumer of pork.

“The accused, however, defended themselves by pointing out the loopholes in pork processing companies and government supervision. They also argued there was no relevant case in which consumers got ill as a result of taking in clenbuterol-tainted meat,” the report said.