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Fujian tainted-meat scandal suggests flaws in food-safety system

By Hu Meidong and Sun Li | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2013-05-13 15:53

A recent high-profile food safety case related to meat products in Nanjing county, Zhangzhou, Fujian province has suggested the existence of loopholes in the rural area’s food safety supervision, local officials said.

Three suspects have been arrested for allegedly selling about 40 metric tons of meat from sick or dead pigs for human consumption.

Two of the suspects, Lin Yuhong and Wu Jinrong, both of whom are farmers in Nanjing county, were hired by a local township government to collect sick and dead pigs and dispose of them in an environmentally friendly manner.

According to the Zhangzhou public security bureau’s branch office in the Taiwanese Investment Zone, which is in charge of the case, the pair had sold meat from the sick and dead pigs since 2003.

The duo collected diseased or dead pigs that local residents discarded and bought them from local farmers. They also built a freezer that could store up to 6 tons of pork and hired three butchers and sold the meat in standard 20-kg packages.

Xiao Zhiwei deputy head of Jingcheng town of Nanjing county, a major pig breeding and farming area of Fujian province, said the town features household pig farming that sees the birth of 200,000 pigs annually.

Every village in the town has set up a specific pool to dispose of dead pigs using bio-safety techniques, but most pools are in remote areas and usually there isn’t anyone taking care of them, Xiao said.

“So it is still common that people just discard the dead and sick pigs randomly,” Xiao said.

The data from the Nanjing agriculture bureau showed the number of sick and dead pigs annually is up to 19,000. Spring and autumn are the two high seasons when hogs are diseased and die.

Yang Zhizhong, head of the Nanjing agriculture bureau said the bureau had no clue of the manufacturing and selling of tainted meat products until the case surfaced recently.

Fujian tainted-meat scandal suggests flaws in food-safety system

Fujian tainted-meat scandal suggests flaws in food-safety system

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