15 Arrested for Selling Pigs Fed Banned Additives

CHINA - Prosecutors said yesterday that 15 people had been arrested in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, on charges of selling pigs that had been given fodder containing banned additives.
calendar icon 19 March 2009
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The additives were ractopamine and clenbuterol, officials from the People's Procuratorate of Guangzhou City told a news briefing here.

The fifteen will face charges involving the production and marketing of substandard, toxic and harmful food, the prosecutors said. The charges could mean prison terms of up to five years for those found guilty.

Officials began an investigation after Guangzhou reported 70 cases of clenbuterol poisoning beginning 18 February. Ractopamine poisoning cases were also reported, but no number was released.

The suspects were arrested in the districts of Haizhu, Tianhe, Baiyun and Huadu in Guangzhou, as well as Zengcheng, a county-level city under the jurisdiction of Guangzhou, between 10 February and 17 March.

The prosecutors did not say when the trial starting date.

Ractopamine and clenbuterol help pigs produce leaner pork. The latter chemical is banned as an additive in pig feed in China because it can be harmful and even fatal to humans.

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