Fifteen people in a Southern Chinese province have been arrested for selling pigs that had been fed banned chemicals to make their meat leaner, according to state media reports.
The pigs had been fed ractopamine and clenbuterol which helps to produce leaner pork but are banned in China because of health risks to humans. The investigation was initiated after 70 cases of clenbuterol poisoning were reported in the province of Guangzhou in the past month, according to officials from the People’s Procuratorate of Guangzhou City.
The people arrested will face charges involving the production and marketing of substandard, toxic and harmful food, which carry prison terms of up to five years.
Although commonly used in the US meat sold into China has to come from farms and breeders where ractopamine is not used. Chinese customs has on occasion halted shipments of pork imports because of tainted ractopamine.