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A US senator is calling on Secretary of State John Kerry to pressure the Chinese government to toughen its laws to stop the illicit export of the potent opioid fentanyl, which is now killing more Americans than heroin in many areas.

Senator Patrick Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican, urged Kerry in a letter to seek “international cooperation, especially from China” to halt the flow of fentanyl into the United States. Although China has banned the export of more than 100 synthetic drugs, including various forms of fentanyl, laboratories there have simply come up with new forms of the opioid to sell in the US by tweaking the chemical composition of the drug.


US authorities say they have seen a dramatic influx of fentanyl directly from China.

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