Domestic Animal Feed is Safe

CHINA - Despite scattered instances of poultry found with tainted feed, China's animal feed is on the whole safe, an agricultural official said.
calendar icon 9 April 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

A livestock market in Guangzhou city in the southern Guangdong province has barred all pigs from central Henan from entering its market since late last month, when 151 pigs transported from its Mengjin county were suspected of being fed with tainted feed.

But deputy agricultural minister Gao Hongbin yesterday stressed that the public need not worry about clenbuterol hydrochloride, a fattening drug in pig feed that was banned after it was found to be hazardous to human health.

The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) sent probe teams to Guangdong and Hunan, another province that filed a similar report, immediately after learning the news, Gao told an online interview with the central government website.

It has since dispatched supervision teams to 12 provinces to oversee local work on securing animal feed, he said.

In all of 2008, the MOA inspected nearly 25,000 batches of animal feed samples, sending some 370,000 inspectors to 36,000 feed producers, 118,000 feed shops and 20,000 breeding houses. As a result, 256 firms operating illegally were closed, according to Gao.

Some 6,900 tons of feed were also confiscated and destroyed, he said.

China has initiated a series of food safety campaigns since the tainted milk scandal last year.

The MOA has shut down some 3,900 milk stations, many viewed to be at fault for the tainted infant formula that left 300,000 babies with urinary tract problems, Gao said.

The remaining milk stations, numbering almost 16,500, are now under around-the-clock supervision, he added.

But the assurance of safe products has not translated into a revitalized dairy market. Prices for dairy products have continued to slump at home and abroad. Ultimately, "there is no way the dairy industry can improve as long as Chinese consumers do not have confidence in domestic dairy products", Gao warned.

"We have never been stricter in our supervision of dairy products," he said.

Consumers should have confidence in China's dairy products," he said.

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