MOSCOW, January 12 (Sputnik) — Chinese police arrested more than 110 people on suspicion of selling meat from diseased pigs in 11 country’s provinces, Reuters reported on Monday.
The perpetrators were members of a network which had been acquiring infected animals’ meat for reduced prices since 2008. The pork had been put on the market all across China or converted into oil and bacon.
The late 1970s were characterized by China’s liberalization of agriculture, which resulted in the increase of pork consumption in the country by seven times. Chinese pig production and consumption amounts to about 500m swine a year, half of all the pigs worldwide, as reported by the Economist. In 2014, swine production in China was expected to reach 723 million head, according to modernfarmer.com.
However, food safety remains a serious problem for the country, with China having already experienced a number of incidents with regard to the quality of its products. A major scandal occurred, for instance, in 2008 in connection with the tainted milk production as result of which about 300,000 people, including six infants, died. Milk products were mixed with melamine, an eye, skin and respiratory irritant, which can cause serious harm if swallowed or soaked in through skin, according to the website of the Chemical Company.