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Something's cooking for biofuel gutter oil (2)

By  Xie Yu and Wang Hongyi  (China Daily)

09:21, December 15, 2011

Zhao Feng collecting swill from a restaurant in Suzhou. Zhao and his father Zhao Jinghua can earn a combined 10,000 yuan a month by collecting gutter oil and waste from 100 restaurants in the city every day. All the waste oil they collect is transported to Jiangsu Clean to be processed into biodiesel.(China DailyXie Yu)

Toxic product

After a simple procedure, the gutter oil is reclaimed as cooking oil and sold at a price of 11,000 yuan a ton. However, the reclaimed oil is toxic. After being reheated too many times, it begins to produce harmful substances such as fats, trans-fatty acids and even carcinogens. It is also a breeding ground for bacteria. However, it is difficult to distinguish the genuine article from gutter oil once it has undergone the reclamation process.

China was shocked last year when the media began to report on how the estimated 2 to 3 million tons of waste cooking oil produced every year is recycled and reused in restaurants, hotels and public canteens.

On Monday, the Ministry of Public Security in Beijing said a recent three-month national campaign against gutter oil had destroyed 60 criminal production networks, spanning 28 provinces. These networks usually comprise a number of links, including collection, rough filtering, advanced processing and sales. More than 700 suspects and 60,000 tons of recycled oil were seized during the operation.

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Sam Teng at 2011-12-16175.136.52.*
Biofuel gutter oil should not be used for cooking purposes because of its harmful effects on health of human. The Chinese government should make it illegal for manufacturers to sell recycled oil for human consumption, and should take legal action against errant manufacturers.The oil, if used repeatedly, could lead to hypertension, damage to the liver and a potential cause of cancer.The Chinese government should set a minimum standard for cooking oil so that errant manufacturers cannot escape legal action.

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