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Tainted Pigs Slaughtered in Guangzhou

by 5m Editor
26 March 2009, at 12:03pm

CHINA - After a random test revealed that 19 pigs out of a shipment of 149 were contaminated by harmful additives, food safety authorities decided to cull the whole herd.

Danwei reports that enforcement personnel used high-voltage electricity to kill pigs in Guangzhou yesterday.

According to Danwei, an article on today's Southern Metropolis Daily uses the term "shouroujing" ("lean meat essence") to refer to the additive. China Daily identifies the chemical as clenbuterol hydrochloride, a respiratory drug that has the side effect of increasing the muscle to fat ratio.

Last week, it was reported that six pig farmers were arrested for administering clenbuterol and Ractopamine, a leanness supplement approved by the USFDA and a number of other countries but banned in China, to their pigs.

On 21 February, the newspaper reported that 67 people fell ill after eating pork products which tested positive for the additives. Some victims said they had eaten pork liver, which usually contains a higher concentration of the chemicals than meat.