China has been hit by a fresh food scandal after the country’s largest meat processor, Shuanghui, was forced to apologize when an illegal additive was found in some of its pork products.

Jiyuan Shuanghui, an affiliate of the Henan-based Shuanghui Group, was said to have bought pigs that had been fed with clenbuterol. The additive can speed up muscle building and fat burning to produce leaner pork – lean meat sells for a premium in China.

Clenbuterol is banned in China because if eaten by humans it can lead to dizziness, heart palpitations, profuse sweating, nausea, headaches, limb tremors and even cancer.

The Henan province conducted urine tests on 1,512 pigs in nine pig farms, with 52 pigs testing positive. Immediately, chiefs of animal husbandry bureaus in Mengzhou City, Qinyang City and Wenxian County received duty suspension notices. Another 27 officials in the province were in police custody, sacked or suspended from duty. Also, the province intends to random test more than 1.63 million pigs in five counties and cities.

Meat products that are suspected of having been tarnished by the banned feed additive have already been taken off the shelves and meat confirmed to contain the additive have been destroyed, according to government officials.

While the China Meat Association tried to down play the possibility that tainted pork was widespread, many consumers will be avoiding pork for the moment. This pork scandal is definitely nothing new to the Chinese. There have been 18 outbreaks of food-related clenbuterol poisoning between 1998 and 2007, according to a report on the Shanghai Food Safety website. One person died and more than 1,700 others fell ill, the website said.

Well at least the salt scare is now over.

via Xinhua, Yahoo News and Chinadaily


Three years ago, Belgian artist Wim Delvoye’s tattooed Louis Vuitton pigs were banned from SH Contemporary, Shanghai’s largest contemporary art fair. This time, he’s at it again, tattooing more odious designs, and on more pigs!

The 46 year old artist, who claims to be a vegetarian, has been tattooing live pigs since 1997. He now runs a pig farm in the suburb’s of Beijing’s Shunyi District, where he works with Chinese tattoo artists to ink pigs with an array of designs, from Louis Vuitton logos and Walt Disney cartoon characters to Chinese motifs.

Before each pig is tattooed, it is first made to sign a model release form, sedated, shaved and applied with Vaseline. The tattoos are then allowed to grow on the pigs for a while before they are sold to “art” collectors from all over the world.

In 2008, the skins could fetch about 10,200 USD a piece. Today, each canvas can set you back by as much as 1 million RMB (around 152,000 USD), if reports by Chinese news agencies are to be believed.

The question is: do you want your piece of art dead or alive?

Check out the photo gallery after the break: Continue reading »

© 2011 CHINALERT powered by Suffusion