China Arrests 63 Traders Selling $16 Million Worth of Rat Meat as Lamb

  • Rate this Story
  • 0
  • 0

By Vittorio Hernandez | July 26, 2014 5:38 PM EST

A Macroscelides micus elephant shrew found in the remote deserts of southwestern Africa is shown in this handout photo from the California Academy of Sciences released to Reuters on June 26, 2014. The new mammal discovered in the remote desert of western Africa resembles a long-nosed mouse in appearance but is more closely related genetically to elephants, a California scientist who helped identify the tiny creature said on June 26, 2014. The new species of elephant shrew inhabits an ancient volcanic formation in Namibia and sports red fur that helps it blend in with the color of its rocky surroundings, said John Dumbacher, one of a team of biologists behind the discovery. Genetic testing of the creature � which weighs up to an ounce (28 grams) and measures 7.5 inches (19 cm) in length, including its tail � revealed its DNA to be more akin to much larger mammals. REUTERS/California Academy of Sciences/Handout via Reuters (UNITED STATES - Tags: ANIMALS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY ENVIRONMENT) ATTENTION EDITORS
A Macroscelides micus elephant shrew found in the remote deserts of southwestern Africa is shown in this handout photo from the California Academy of Sciences released to Reuters on June 26, 2014. The new mammal discovered in the remote desert of western Africa resembles a long-nosed mouse in appearance but is more closely related genetically to elephants, a California scientist who helped identify the tiny creature said on June 26, 2014. The new species of elephant shrew inhabits an ancient volcanic formation in Namibia and sports red fur that helps it blend in with the color of its rocky surroundings, said John Dumbacher, one of a team of biologists behind the discovery. Genetic testing of the creature � which weighs up to an ounce (28 grams) and measures 7.5 inches (19 cm) in length, including its tail � revealed its DNA to be more akin to much larger mammals. REUTERS/California Academy of Sciences/Handout via Reuters (UNITED STATES - Tags: ANIMALS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY ENVIRONMENT) ATTENTION EDITORS

The Ministry of Public Security announced on Thursday the arrest of 63 traders who passed of $1.6 million worth of rat, fox and minx meat as lamb meat. The mask the meat from mice and make it appear from lamb, the traders mixed the rat flesh with gelatin, red food dye and nitrates.

The fake lamb meat was sold in the Chinese province of Jiangshu and Shanghai City to dining establishments, supermarkets and distributors. Inhabitat.com said the authorities are not sure if the arrested traders caught rats from the streets or raised them.

In response to the report, an angry Chinese posted on Sina Weibo - China's equivalent of Twitter - "How many rats does it take to put together a sheep ... Is is cheaper to raise rats than sheep?

The arrest is part of the ministry's stepped up campaign started in January against illegal sales of tainted, unsuspected and toxic meat. To boost the campaign, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang said in March that food safety is a high priority of the national government.

Since the start of the year, the minister has discovered 1,721 illegal factories, workshops and shops which were either shuttered or raided.

The campaign is in response to the growing number of deaths in China due to diseased meats or meats with toxins. As a result, some Chinese have abstained from eating meat for some time.

Mao Shoulong, professor of public policy at Beijing's Renmin University said, quoted by the New York Times, "Chinese food production has become larger scale and more technological, but the problems emerging also involve using more sophisticated technology to beat regulators and cheat consumers."

The problem has been going on for quite some time now, according to this video.

YouTube/BBCNews Mribology

To contact the editor, e-mail:

(Photo: / )
A Macroscelides micus elephant shrew found in the remote deserts of southwestern Africa is shown in this handout photo from the California Academy of Sciences released to Reuters on June 26, 2014. The new mammal discovered in the remote desert of western Africa resembles a long-nosed mouse in appearance but is more closely related genetically to elephants, a California scientist who helped identify the tiny creature said on June 26, 2014. The new species of elephant shrew inhabits an ancient volcanic formation in Namibia and sports red fur that helps it blend in with the color of its rocky surroundings, said John Dumbacher, one of a team of biologists behind the discovery. Genetic testing of the creature � which weighs up to an ounce (28 grams) and measures 7.5 inches (19 cm) in length, including its tail � revealed its DNA to be more akin to much larger mammals. REUTERS/California Academy of Sciences/Handout via Reuters (UNITED STATES - Tags: ANIMALS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY ENVIRONMENT) ATTENTION EDITORS
  • Rate this Story
  • 0
  • 0
This article is copyrighted by IBTimes.com.au, the business news leader

Join the Conversation

IBTimes TV
E-Newsletters

We value your privacy. Your email address will not be shared.