Press Esc to close
Friday 24 October 2014
News updated at 2:49 PM IST
Weather
Max: 0°C
Min : 0°C
In Bangalore
Sunny day

Chinese police bust million-dollar rat-meat ring

BEIJING,May 3, 2013 , (Reuters) -

Chinese police have broken a crime ring that passed off more than $1 million in rat and small mammal meat as mutton, authorities said, in a food safety crackdown that coincides with a bird flu outbreak and other environmental pressures.

Authorities have arrested 904 suspects since the end of January for selling and producing fake or tainted meat products, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement posted on its website on Thursday.

During the crackdown, police discovered one suspect surnamed Wei who had used additives to spice up and sell rat, fox and mink meat at markets in Shanghai and Jiangsu province.

Police arrested 63 suspects connected to the crime ring in a case valued at more than 10 million yuan in sales since 2009.

Despite persistent efforts by police, "food safety crimes are still prominent, and new situations are emerging with new characteristics", the ministry's statement said, citing "responsible officials".

Police confiscated more than 20,000 tonnes of fake or inferior meat products after breaking up illegal food plants during the nationwide operation, the ministry said.

Food safety and environmental pollution are chronic problems in China and public anxiety over cases of fake or toxic food often spreads quickly.

In April, many consumers lost their appetite for poultry as an outbreak of the H7N9 bird flu virus spread in China. Sales dropped by 80 percent in eastern China, where the bird flu has been most prevalent, although experts stress that cooked chicken is perfectly safe.

In March, more than 16,000 rotting pigs were found floating in one of Shanghai's main water sources, triggering a public outcry. Over-crowding at pig farms was likely behind the die-off and their disposal in the Huangpu river.

The public security ministry said police had confiscated more than 15 tonnes of tainted pork in Anhui province, although as much as 60 tonnes had been sold in Anhui and Fujian provinces since mid-2012.

But it was the rodent meat in particular that people couldn't stomach, with Internet users turning to the popular microblogging site Sina Weibo to vent their outrage.

"Rats? How disgusting. Everything we eat is poison," one user wrote.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Hindu priest performs evening prayers called 'Aarti' on the banks of the river Yamuna...

Hindu priest performs evening prayers called 'Aarti' on the banks of the river Yamuna...

Dakshineswar Temple decorated with lights for the Kali Puja and Diwali at North 24 Pargana...

Dakshineswar Temple decorated with lights for the Kali Puja and Diwali at North 24 Pargana...

Firecrackers light up the sky as people celebrate Diwali festival in Mumbai...

Firecrackers light up the sky as people celebrate Diwali festival in Mumbai...

School students lighting earhen lamps at Tulsi Ghat in Varanasi...

School students lighting earhen lamps at Tulsi Ghat in Varanasi...

A view of decorated Madan Mohan Malviya Stadium with oil lamps during Deepwali festival...

A view of decorated Madan Mohan Malviya Stadium with oil lamps during Deepwali festival...

Illuminated Golden Temple on the eve of Diwali in Amritsar...

Illuminated Golden Temple on the eve of Diwali in Amritsar...

Children with special needs light firecrackers as they celebrate Diwali...

Children with special needs light firecrackers as they celebrate Diwali...

Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers enjoy Diwali celebrations on the eve of Diwali...

Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers enjoy Diwali celebrations on the eve of Diwali...

Hindu priests light oil lamps in a formation of the 'Swastika', a Hindu symbol of peace...

Hindu priests light oil lamps in a formation of the 'Swastika', a Hindu symbol of peace...

A Border Security Force (BSF) soldier lights sparklers on the eve of Diwali...

A Border Security Force (BSF) soldier lights sparklers on the eve of Diwali...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523