Chinese police have broken a crime ring that passed off more than US$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.
Authorities have arrested 904 suspects since the end of January for selling and producing fake or tainted meat products, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security said in a statement posted on its Web site on Thursday.
During the crackdown, 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 (US$1.6 million) 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.”
Police confiscated more than 20,000 tonnes of fake or inferior meat products after breaking up illegal food plants during the nationwide operation, the ministry said.
Food safety and environmental pollution are chronic problems in China and public anxiety over cases of fake or toxic food often spreads quickly.
Last month, many consumers lost their appetite for poultry as an outbreak of the H7N9 bird flu virus spread in China. Sales dropped by 80 percent in eastern China, where the bird flu has been most prevalent, although experts stress that cooked chicken is perfectly safe.
The public security ministry said police had confiscated more than 15 tonnes of tainted pork in Anhui Province, although as much as 60 tonnes had been sold in Anhui and Fujian provinces since the middle of last year.
However, it was the rodent meat in particular that people could not 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 said.
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
FOX HUNT: To suppress dissent, Chinese living abroad that Xi Jinping sees as threats are told to either return to China or commit suicide, Christopher Wray said Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves. Fox Hunt was launched
‘FIGHT FOR FREEDOM’: Hong Kongers will never bow to Beijing, the advocate said, while the US’ envoy to the territory called China’s new security law a ‘tragedy’ The world must stand in solidarity with Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the semi-autonomous territory, advocate Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) said yesterday, vowing to continue campaigning for democracy. Wong, one of the territory’s most prominent young advocates and a figure loathed by Beijing, was speaking outside a court where he and fellow advocates are being prosecuted for involvement in last year’s pro-democracy protests. China last week enacted sweeping security legislation for the restless territory, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The legislation has sent a wave of fear through the territory, and criminalized dissenting
A squad of gun-toting police officers patrolled Myanmar’s sacred site of Bagan under the cover of night, taking on plunderers snatching relics from temples forsaken by tourists due to COVID-19 restrictions. Each evening as dusk falls, about 100 officers fan out across the plain of Bagan covering 50km2, sweeping flashlights over the crumbling monuments to scour for intruders. “Our security forces are patrolling day and night,” Police Lieutenant Colonel Sein Win told reporters. “We have it under control for the moment, but it’s a challenge.” The central Burmese city is strewn with more than 3,500 ancient monuments — stupas, temples, murals and sculptures