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Million-Dollar Rat-Meat Ring Busted By Chinese Police

Written By Joseph Y. Musa on Sunday, May 05, 2013 | 5/05/2013 09:27:00 am

Chinese police have broken a crime ring that passed off more than $1 million in rat and small
mammal meat as mutton, authorities said, in a food safety crackdown that coincides with a bird flu outbreak and other environmental pressures.
904 suspects have been arrested since the end of January for selling and producing fake or tainted meat products, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement posted on its website on Thursday.
Police discovered one suspect surnamed Wei who had used additives to spice up and sell rat, fox and mink meat at markets in Shanghai and Jiangsu province.
Police arrested 63 suspects connected to the crime ring in a case valued at more than 10 million yuan (about N253m) in sales since 2009.
Despite persistent efforts by police, “food safety crimes are still prominent, and new situations are emerging with new characteristics”, the ministry’s statement said, citing “responsible officials”.
In March, more than 16,000 rotting pigs were found floating in one of Shanghai’s main water sources, triggering a public outcry. Over-crowding at pig farms was likely behind the die-off and their disposal in the Huangpu river.
The public security ministry said police had confiscated more than 15 metric tons of tainted pork in Anhui province, although as much as 60 metric tons had been sold in Anhui and Fujian provinces since mid-2012.
But it was the rodent meat in particular that people couldn’t stomach, with Internet users turning to the popular microblogging site Sina Weibo to vent their outrage.
“Rats? How disgusting. Everything we eat is poison,” one user wrote.
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