Olympic pigs cause stir among bloggers
Reports of pigs been specially fed an organic diet and
receiving exercise daily in order to feed Chinese athletes for next year's
Beijing Olympics have caused a stir among bloggers.
The Chinese government has embarked on a programme to raise pigs specially
for the Olympic athletes both from China and other participating countries.
Background to the uproar online is the growing frustration
of ordinary Chinese with tainted food and inhumane working environments. In
addition, pigs are an important commodity in China with a special
government-controlled pork reserve.
A recent outbreak of PRRS among
pigs caused much concern among government officials on account of the resulting
increase in inflation to 6.5% in August.
A press conference was held
by the Qianxihe Food Group or Lucky Crane, the supplier of pork for the
Olympics, in Beijing last August announcing this project. The company's stated
aim is provide the athletes with the purest of meat with no substances which
could interfere with doping tests.
So what does this programme involve? Various press
resources revealed that the pigs would be doing 'at least two hours exercise
The location of the pig
farms are top secret for anti-terrorism purposes, but have been chosen carefully
with regard to the quality of air, water and soil. The pigs are reported to be
fed with a diet of special organically-grown geed and Chinese herbal medicines.
A member of the panel of experts for food safety for the Beijing
Olympics, Luo Yunxiang stated that is was acceptable for such irregular,
temporary measures to be taken in order to guarantee food safety during the
Olympics. He assured that the Olympic pork would be distributed to the general
public after the Games.
disagreement with this programme has been reported even among government
officials. The Director of Research and Development at the China Meat Research
Center in Beijing, Qiao Xiaoling, predicted that the Olympic pork would be
unaffordable for the average Chinese citizen at a cost of twice the normal
Qiao did emphasise
that ordinary pork is safe to eat, but did acknowledge that the Olympic pork may
be better quality.
There is an element of support
for the programme on the Internet. A Shanghai consultant, Laura Yang, is quoted
as stating that the food safety applied during the Olympics is vital for the
â€¢ Bocog - Olympics Organisation
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