China Arrests 63 Traders Selling $16 Million Worth of Rat Meat as Lamb
By Vittorio Hernandez | July 26, 2014 5:38 PM EST
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.
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.
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