Chemist implicated in pork scandal (2)

08:58, April 11, 2011      

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Last week, prosecuting authorities began investigating 12 government officials implicated in the case to ascertain whether they had been derelict in their duties.

About 18 tons of pig feed suspected of containing clenbuterol were confiscated by the authorities during a check that lasted from March 15 to 23, according to Henan police.

The province also conducted urine tests on 1,512 pigs in nine pig farms. Of those pigs, 52 tested positive for clenbuterol.

Wan Long, chairman of Shuanghui Group, apologized to consumers after the scandal, blaming the case on the examination system, which he said "could not be 100% accurate".

Responding to the scandal, the Ministry of Agriculture vowed on Sunday to strengthen its supervision of the quality and safety of animal products.

Apology seen as publicity stunt

The recent public apology made by China's largest meat processor for the discovery of banned additives in its pork products is being called an unsuccessful "publicity stunt" by critics.

The Henan-based Shuanghui Group, which was found to use tainted pigs in making pork products, apologized for the misstep in a meeting held in Luohe, Henan province, on March 31. The meeting was said to have drawn "tens of thousands of people", including staff members, bankers, government officials and journalists.

Wan Long, chairman of the company, bowed and expressed his sincere apologies to consumers. He then promised that all pigs used by the company will be tested to ensure they can be safely made into food.

Wan's speech was followed by "warm applause". The meeting reached a peak of enthusiasm when a salesman stood up and said: "Long live Shuanghui, long live Chairman Wan."

Zhao Dali, vice-president of China International Public Relations Association, said the meeting was obviously a show "contrived by public relations agencies".

- Zhao Yinan

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