Wednesday, January 23, 2013


China is fast growing as the capital of fraudulent food products manufactured both for exports as well as domestic consumption. While one will have laud the economic miracles achieved by this ancient country with in a short span of time, what is incomprehensible is why this country is not able to prevent food frauds taking place more and more frequently affecting its image abroad and health of its citizens. Some how countries like India and China are under estimating the innovative genius shown by food criminals who seem to be invariably one step ahead of the government! Latest episode of food fraud comes from some parts of China where chicken farmers are reported to be using banned drugs, antibiotics and non-permissible hormones to fatten their chicken, obviously to make fast money, ignoring the well being of the citizens. Here is commentary on this despicable practices going on unchecked in this country.

On December 18, China Central Television (CCTV), the country's national television station, reported
that several Shandong-located chicken farms fed antibiotics and hormones to chickens every day 
to reduce their death rate and quicken their growth. Hormones, antibiotics and antiviral drugs,
were all fed to the chickens to compensate for the unsanitary conditions in their cages,
according to the CCTV report. The owner of one of the farms says he gave the chickens
at least 18 kinds of antibiotics. Within a mere 40 days, the chickens' weight would surge
upward of 3 kg. To make matters worse, the chickens were found to be  given drugs banned
by the State Food and Drug Administration of China (SFDA). According to the report, some
chickens were fed anti-biotics two days before slaughter.China's poultry raising regulations state that chickens cannot be given drugs at leastone week before being slaughtered to ensure the drugs are no longer in their systems. Two such farms in Gaomi  and Pingdu, both in east China's Shandong Province, sold their chickens to a slaughterhouse  in Pingdu, which belongs to Liuhe Group, the company that provides chicken to the China
division of Yum Brands of Shanghai, which owns the KFC fast food chain. Yum's logistics center then
delivered the chicken to its fast food stores, said the report.Companies belonging  ;to Liuhe Group
also fabricated feeding logs for their chicken farms and produced quarantine qualifications without
 conducting any tests, said the report. On December 21, the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration
conducted a food safety check at KFC outlets. It found that one of 32 samples taken from eight
batches of Yum Brands' raw chicken was suspected to be contaminated with the anti-viral medicine amantadine, which is banned for use in food. The Shanghai food and drug authority
has asked Yum to recall related products fr omits KFC restaurants&nb sp;and has launched a citywide
inspection of KFC outlets. Yum Brands Inc., the world's largest restaurant group, is believed to have known
about the antibiotics in its chicken as far back as 2010. Beijing Review was unable to reach
Yum Brands for comment. McDonald's and the Japanese fast food chain Yoshinoya have also been embroiled in the chicken scandal. On December 23, the Beijing Animal Inspection authority uncovered that
23 restaurants or food companies bought chicken from Liuhe Group, including Yoshinoya.
Some dishes incorporating chicken have been withdrawn from sale at Yoshinoya restaurantsin Beijing,
reported the Xinhua News Agency. On December 26, McDonald's admitted that the Liuhe
Group was its secondtier supplier.It claims to have stopped using raw chicken from Liuhe since December 18. During a press conference held on December 25, Bi Meijia, spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), said that relevant poultry raisers and processors have been shutdown
and are currently under investigation. The MOA has dispatched a group ofexperts to Shandong
Province to inspect the matter, he said.

Globally food adulterators and fraudulent players are having a swell time in making money by cheating the consumers and the regulatory agencies through very innovative techniques and higher the prices of food products larger seems to be margins for this industry! Olive oil, Saffron, Honey, etc are prime candidates for fraudulent practices and due to many reaons they are able to get away without being detected and pinished. Milk is another food item attracting adulterators in droves and this is an example of how such activities are sustained for decades in every part of the world. Imagine the genius of these criminals in India where milk is made without the help of a cow or a buffalo but using chemicals like urea and detergents! Probably people, especially in poor and developing countries may have to live with this evil till adequate resources are available to them to create required infrastructural facilities to check, uncover and bring to book those indulging in food related criminal activities.


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