Crackdown as Chinese pork crisis goes bad

BEIJING- Unscrupulous meat-sellers have been injecting pigs with water and passing off diseased meat as safe, to try and take advantage of record Chinese pork prices, state media said on this week.
calendar icon 6 July 2007
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The unauthorised practice of injecting pigs with water before slaughter to increase their weight, and the sale of unsafe meat has been sparked by the spiralling pork prices, said the China Securities Journal.

Officials have launched an emergency crackdown on the sale of dangerous meat and better quality control on pork production, according to a note posted on the website of the ministry of commerce on Wednesday. The statement added that the unlicensed slaughter of pigs was also growing.

The retail prices of pork in the southern city of Guangzhou reached 20 yuan per kilogram on Tuesday, far higher than the peak of 17.4 yuan per kilo in late May, according to an earlier report by the Xinhua news agency.

In Beijing, the retail price of pork surged to 19 yuan per kilo, the highest level in 10 years, it added.

Previous reports from state media said the dramatic rise was a result of production bottlenecks and a recent outbreak of blue ear disease that led to mass culling of pigs.

The high prices have caused nervousness in the government, which is worried that growing inflationary pressures stemming from the economic boom could lead to unrest.
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