China to breed hormone-free pigs for Olympics
To avoid false-positive doping tests among athletes attending the 2008 Olympic
Games in Beijing, China will serve them pork produced without any
The pigs will be produced by Qianxihe Food Group at
secret locations. The pork would not cause Olympic athletes to fail doping tests
due to residual antibiotics and steroids. "Anti-doping concerns during the Olympics
officials to tighten food safety regulations so that athletes will be guaranteed
food quality," company spokesman Niu Shengnan said.
Food for athletes would be strictly monitored through every
step of farming, processing and transport, according toWang Wei,
secretary-general of the Beijing organising committee for the games. "Our
country and the Beijing municipal government are taking the food safety issue
very seriously, especially for the Olympics," Wang said. In an indication of the
concern Olympic organisers had about food quality, Niu said visitors to the
three pig-rearing centres near Beijing had to pass a three-day quarantine
process before getting in. "No living organisms are allowed within 500 metres of
the centre. Even when inspectors go, they must first be quarantined for three
days before being allowed to set foot inside," Niu said.
China faces high pork prices following an outbreak of a
variation of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome virus - also known as
blue ear disease - which has killed about 1 million pigs since May last year.
"Luckily we have already begun raising pigs for the Games, so supplies should
not be a problem," said Niu.
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