Meat scavenging exposes loopholes in disposal system
Villagers living near a landfill in Jinping county, Southwest China's Yunnan province, have been collecting and selling the expired or shoddy meat products that the authorities have disposed of there. Thepaper.cn commented on Sunday:
It is estimated the villagers recovered and sold nearly 250 tons of meat products, ranging from beef to chicken's feet, until a post revealing the practice went viral on social media and the county government put a stop to it last week.
Once a new load of meat had been dumped in the landfill, hundreds of local villagers would rush to the site and start working around the clock to gather as much of it as possible.
This reportedly had been going on for years with most of the meat finding its way to roadside eateries and countryside food workshops. And the operation has been going on openly for several years.
To prevent it from happening again, the country government is now mixing caustic soda and cement among the meat products before dumping them.
But it would not have been difficult for the government to discover the dirty trade. Yet it did nothing to stop it.
Even without the scavenging, to bury hundreds of tons of meat products in one place without any processing measures beforehand, not only violates the rules for the disposing of meat products, it also poses a serious risk to the local ecology and environment, contaminating the soil and water.
These expired meat products can be turned into organic fertilizers and bio-fuel for power plants.
Now is the time to track down the industrial chain and hold relevant officials, including those in the food safety and commerce administration departments, and the sellers responsible, as their dereliction of duties and dirty business have constituted a huge threat to food safety and public health.
The case should ring the alarm bells nationwide for the authorities to strengthen their supervision of the processing of refuse, especially in the countryside.