China continues to struggle with food safety scandals. Huaying Agricultural, a prominent Chinese poultry company doing business as the “World’s Duck King”, terminated four employees suspected of selling diseased ducks.
Media reports indicate consumers were supplied with ducks that died from a disease instead of being supplied with healthy ducks that were slaughtered.
According to Agence France-Presse, employees of Huaying, based in the central province of Henan, sold the ducks to businessman Cui Jinping who processed them on the “black market” for resale as meat.
Based on a statement obtained from China’s Shenzhen stock exchange, where the firm is listed, Huaying Agricultural fired a department manager, the head of two of its farms and two other workers over the case.
An investigation by local officials from Henan’s Huangchuan county, where the company is based, confirmed the dismissals.
“This has hurt the image of the company and we sincerely apologise to investors and consumers,” a Huaying company spokesperson said.
In 2010, Chinese food safety officials seized 64 tonnes of raw dairy materials contaminated with the toxic industrial chemical melamine.
In 2008, melamine was found in US baby formula. Around ninety percent of the infant formula sold in the US was contaminated with melamine which is linked to kidney failure.
At least six babies died and another 300,000 became ill after drinking the tainted milk.
Other shocking food issues in China:
Last year, plastic rice was distributed to the unsuspecting masses in China. The faux rice is made by combining potatoes and sweet potatoes into the shape of rice grains, then adding industrial synthetic resins as a binding agent. A Chinese official said that eating three bowls of this fake rice would be like eating one plastic bag.
Chinese Food Producers Feed Farmed Fish Human Waste
Michael Doyle, a microbiologist with the University of Georgia, said food producers in China regularly use untreated human and animal waste for feeding farmed fish meant for eating and for fertilizing land to grow produce. Doyle claims feces is the primary nutrient for growing the tilapia in China.
Pork Tainted With Clenbuterol and Ractopamine
China’s top meat processor, and over 1,300 pig farms were investigated for selling pork contaminated with the drugs clenbuterol and ractopamine. Clenbuterol, a bronchodilator known among farmers as “lean meat powder” is banned in China because of its serious side effects.
Ractopamine is also used as a feed additive to promote lean meat in pigs. In the US, ractopamine is the active ingredient found in the feed additive Paylean, which has the potential for causing cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Chinese Party Officials Maintain Secret Organic Gardens
The rich and politically connected in China obtain most their vegetables from secret organic gardens. Organic farmers say they face pressure to sell their limited output to official channels.
Meanwhile, the population at large consume meats laced with steroids, dine on fish from ponds spiked with hormones to increase growth, and drink milk containing dangerous additives such as melamine.