Chinese police target illegal pork additives

09:40, May 10, 2011      

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Chinese police officers have been told to give priority to food safety cases and bring every criminal involved in drug-tainted pork cases to justice, as the government has promised "iron-handed measures" to ensure food safety.

Instances of the illegal production, sale and use of additives, including clenbuterol which is fed to pigs to stop them from accumulating fat, have been uncovered with frequency recently, said a notice issued by the Ministry of Public Security and made public Monday.

The notice called for special campaigns by local police to target illegal pork additives. It also told police officers to frequently investigate places favored by criminals producing and storing the drugs.

"The origins of such additives and the distribution network must be thoroughly investigated and all criminals should be brought to justice," the notice said. "These should be mandatory standards in dealing with such cases."

Police have detained 96 people for producing, selling or using meat additives and confiscated over 400 kg of the drugs in central Henan Province, after a tainted pork scandal was exposed in March and the country's largest meat products processor, Shuanghui Group, was forced to issue a public apology.

Vice Premier Li Keqiang recently warned of the great harm imposed by illegal additives in food at a high-profile national meeting, promising a "firm attitude, iron-handed measures and more efforts" in dealing with the problem.

A high-profile, nationwide fight against the illegal use of additives in food was launched in April to intensify supervision, upgrade safety standards and greatly increase penalties for violators.

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