CHINA: Contaminated pork sent shock waves across nation
Posted: July 27th, 2011 - 11:41am
Source: Xinhua News Agency
BEIJING, July 26 (Xinhuanet) -- The media investigation into contaminated pork began when suspicions were raised over a surge in sales of ultra lean meat - pork with as little fat under the skin as possible. Many of these so-called "handsome pigs" originate in central China's Henan Province, a major center for pork production. CCTV reporter Jie Bai tells us how the case first surfaced, and how it sent shock waves across the nation.
Mengzhou city, central China's Henan Province.
Here, many farmers raise what they call "handsome pigs" - slim and muscular - with very little fat.
One farmer spoke of how high quality pork could be produced by using a "magic" additive, that turns fat into lean meat.
Pig farmer said "They call it "lean meat powder". I didn't ask what it really is. Everybody's using it."
The magic powder turns out to be Clenbuterol - a banned, poisonous substance.
But most farmers in fact knew they were using illegal chemicals.
Pig farmer said "I know what this thing is. You can read it on the Internet. Someone has even gone to prison for producing the powder."
Behind the known risks lies the commercial reality - the constant drive to maximize production, and profit.
Pig farmer said After using the powder, the pigs can sell for an extra twenty to thirty yuan each.
The contaminated meat then enters the food chain.