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Crackdown in China: Rat Meat Sold As Mutton 

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Old 05-03-2013, 03:28 PM
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Crackdown in China: Rat Meat Sold As Mutton

http://news.msn.com/world/rat-meat-c...ocid=ansnews11

By Michael Martina and Sally Huang, Reuters

BEIJING -- Chinese police have broken a crime ring that passed off more than $1 million in rat and small-mammal meat as mutton in a food safety crackdown that coincides with a bird flu outbreak and other environmental pressures, authorities said.

Authorities have arrested 904 suspects since the end of January for allegedly selling and producing fake or tainted meat products, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement posted on its website on Thursday.

Health officials in Taiwan are on guard after one of its citizens contracted the deadly strain of bird flu while on a business trip in China. NBC's Ian Williams reports.

During the crackdown, police discovered one suspect 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, or $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 22 tons 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.

More than 1,000 dead ducks have been fished out of a river Sichuan, China. The discovery comes as the country deals with anger over the dumping of over 16,000 pigs elsewhere in China. NBCNews.com's Dara Brown reports.

In April, 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 virus has been most prevalent, although experts stress that cooked chicken is perfectly safe.

In March, more than 16,000 rotting pigs were found floating in one of Shanghai's main water sources, triggering a public outcry. Overcrowding at pig farms was probably behind the die-off and the pigs' 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.

People carry sticks of barbecued mutton through a crowd at a celebration in Beijing, photo below. Chinese authorities have announced a crackdown on sales of tainted and fraudulent meat, including rat passed off as mutton.
Andy Wong / AP file



*Chinese Police Arrested 63 People for Selling More Than $1.6 Million of Rat, Fox and Mink Meat and Passing it Off as Lamb

Planning on eating lamb in China in the near future?

You may want to think twice.

Chinese authorities announced Thursday that they have arrested 63 people who allegedly bought rat, fox and mink meats, coated the flesh with gelatin, nitrates and red pigment and then sold the mutated meat as mutton in Shanghai and a nearby province for approximately $1.6 million.

The gastronomic dragnet was part of a larger effort in China, led by new Prime Minister Li Keqiang, to clean up the country's illicit food trade, one that regularly serves up diseased and mismarked meat to diners, often sickening them in the process.

"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," Mao Shoulong, a professor of public policy at Renmin University in Beijing, told The New York Times.

Since January, a nationwide sweep in China targeting food violators has netted 904 people so far. The suspects are accused of selling diseased and altered meats. Additionally, the Chinese government has shut down more than 1,700 factories and shops that produced and passed on the phony fare.

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.

Overcrowding and disease are prevalent in Chinese livestock facilities. The high-profile March discovery of more than16,000 dead pigs in a Shanghai river, (and a main water source), was likely due to congestion at area pig farms. Police have also confiscated 16.5 tons of tainted pork in the Anhui province.

The Chinese culinary market is also flooded with protected animals from around the world.

Just last month, Filipino police intercepted a Chinese vessel carrying more than 22,000 pounds of pangolin meat after the boat ran — posing as a fishing craft — smacked into a protected coral reef in the Philippines. Two species of pangolin are classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as endangered.

In 2007, an investigation by the International Fund for Animal Welfare discovered 1,900 illegal animal items from 30 endangered species for sale on major Chinese auction sites.

Real mutton, in photos on left, below. Inferior meat on the right. The fake lamb has those white pieces that look kind of like egg noodles. Uncooked, it could be bacon.

A woman reads as she waits for customers in bottom photo.

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Old 05-03-2013, 04:12 PM
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Re: Crackdown in China: Rat Meat Sold As Mutton

disgusting.

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Old 05-03-2013, 04:18 PM
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Re: Crackdown in China: Rat Meat Sold As Mutton

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disgusting.

I always get shrimp from Chinese restaurants because I can tell they are shrimp :)

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Old 05-03-2013, 04:20 PM
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Re: Crackdown in China: Rat Meat Sold As Mutton

LOL

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Old 05-03-2013, 06:43 PM
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Re: Crackdown in China: Rat Meat Sold As Mutton

What's so terrible about eating rat meat? They're just another mammal

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Old 05-04-2013, 02:15 AM
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Re: Crackdown in China: Rat Meat Sold As Mutton

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What's so terrible about eating rat meat? They're just another mammal

We had trained rats one time. Late night entertainment for the last of my brothers to die and myself between awful horror movies or funny shows ;)

For me personally, they're like big roaches, although I know some people keep rats as pets and they are supposed to be clean and good pets.

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Old 05-04-2013, 02:27 AM
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Re: Crackdown in China: Rat Meat Sold As Mutton

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Originally Posted by diamondsmiles View Post
I always get shrimp from Chinese restaurants because I can tell they are shrimp :)
NOTHING is what looks like, in chinese resaurants: yes, they may be actual shrimps, but filled with rat meat; or some genetically modified grasshopers, or the results of some experiment on crickets gone wrong. You never know what you eat there.

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Old 05-04-2013, 03:18 AM
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Re: Crackdown in China: Rat Meat Sold As Mutton

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Originally Posted by gatagato View Post
NOTHING is what looks like, in chinese resaurants: yes, they may be actual shrimps, but filled with rat meat; or some genetically modified grasshopers, or the results of some experiment on crickets gone wrong. You never know what you eat there.

Even if they are in lobster sauce? Aren't they the whole shrimp?

I don't want to know. They taste like shrimp to me :)

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Old 05-04-2013, 02:17 PM
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Re: Crackdown in China: Rat Meat Sold As Mutton

I never trust their sesame, general tso, or any of their chicken that is boneless and rolled into a bubbly ball.. BUT IT TASTES SO GOOD. also their unlimited amount of chicken wings sold in "the hood".. Especially in NYC.. I honestly think their chicken wings are pigeons. BUT IT TASTES SO GOOD!

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Old 05-04-2013, 03:15 PM
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Re: Crackdown in China: Rat Meat Sold As Mutton

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Originally Posted by Brometheus View Post
I never trust their sesame, general tso, or any of their chicken that is boneless and rolled into a bubbly ball.. BUT IT TASTES SO GOOD. also their unlimited amount of chicken wings sold in "the hood".. Especially in NYC.. I honestly think their chicken wings are pigeons. BUT IT TASTES SO GOOD!

"Don't ask, don't tell!" If I don't feel sick, I'm good.

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