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Seven Suspects Detained Over Poisoned Pork

by 5m Editor
25 February 2009, at 9:17am

CHINA - The municipal public security bureau of Guangzhou yesterday claimed to have identified nine people allegedly responsible for the recent case of pig-feed poisoning, which has made about 70 people ill in the capital of South China's Guangdong province in the past week.

Seven of the nine suspects have been detained, an official of the bureau said, adding all the suspects were either individual vendors or wholesale sellers, with their businesses in Tianhe, Zengcheng and Baiyun districts.

The bureau said two other suspects were at large, but their trail had been tracked and they "would be brought to justice soon".

The first case of pig-feed additive poisoning was reported in Guangzhou on 19 February, after which about 70 people have taken ill with the same symptoms.

The victims complained of stomach-aches and diarrhea after they ate pig organs bought from the local markets.

After an investigation, local authorities found that the pig organs were contaminated with a banned food additive, clenbuterol - dubbed shouroujing - which prevents pigs from accumulating fat, but is harmful to humans, sometimes even fatal.

Investigators also found that the contaminated pigs came from several farms in Hunan province and were imported to different markets in Tianhe, Zengcheng and Baiyun districts of the capital through a wholesale market in Tianhe.

The municipal health bureau yesterday told China Daily that no fresh cases of food poisoning had been reported since Saturday.

"There have been no reports of new cases of poisoning since Saturday, and all the near-70 patients have been treated and discharged from the hospitals," Huang Shui, a publicity official of the bureau, said.

The city's industrial and commercial department has been "closely monitoring" markets selling pigs, the Guangzhou Daily reported yesterday.

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