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46 poisoned by pig-feed additive in S China
Updated: 2009-02-19 23:08

GUANGZHOU -- Forty-six people in south China's Guangdong Province were poisoned on Thursday after eating pig organs that contained an animal-feed additive, the local health authority said.

They were all hospitalized for stomach aches and diarrhea. Three people remained in the hospital for further observation, said Wang Guobin, an official with the Guangzhou Municipal Public Health Bureau.

A total of 11 food poisoning cases had been reported since 10 a.m. on Thursday in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong. A total of 46 people from the Tianhe and Zengcheng districts were involved.

Wang said all of them had eaten pig organs, which, according to an initial investigation, were contaminated by Clenbuterol, a feed additive.

The chemical, dubbed "shouroujing" which literally means "lean meat essences for pigs" in Chinese, can prevent pigs from accumulating fat, but is poisonous to humans and can be fatal.

It is banned as an additive in pig feed in China.

Wang said a further investigation is underway to find out the source of the additive.