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Police in China seize 100 tons of 'gutter oil'

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Published : Sept. 13, 2011 - 13:07

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BEIJING (AP) -- Chinese police have detained 32 people in a nationwide crackdown on ``gutter oil,'' or old kitchen oil that has been illegally recycled, authorities said Tuesday.

The campaign is part of an effort to clean up China's food safety record following several embarrassing scandals, including deadly infant formula and pork tainted with clenbuterol, a banned chemical that makes pork leaner but is harmful to humans.

The Ministry of Public Security said in a statement on its website that police had seized 100 tons (90 metric tons) of the potentially harmful oil in 14 provinces.

It said six workshops were closed, including one operated by Jinan Green Bio Oil Co., a business that claimed to be turning kitchen oil into fuel but that was actually churning out recycled cooking oil that it passed off as new.

Recycled oil can contain carcinogens and traces of aflatoxin, a potentially deadly mold.

``Not only did we destroy a criminal chain that was illegally turning gutter oil into food oil, we also unveiled the greed of the criminals and pulled back the curtain on the immoral acts of those producing this poisonous and harmful food oil,'' the statement said.

It didn't specify what charges the 32 people in detention would face or say when the crackdown started.

Last year, the State Council, China's Cabinet, said businesses that use recycled oil would be forced to close temporarily or lose their business license and that peddlers who sell the oil could be criminally prosecuted.

In recent years, Chinese consumers have been horrified by a series of food safety scandals, including fish treated with cancer-causing antimicrobials, eggs colored with industrial dye and fake liquor that can cause blindness or death. Milk and infant formula laced with the industrial chemical melamine killed six children and sickened 300,000 in 2008.

The government responded by enacting a tough food safety law in 2009 that promised harsh penalties for makers of tainted products.

 

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中 '시궁창 식용유' 대량 유통 또 적발

(베이징=연합뉴스) -- 중국에서 식당 등지에서 나온 폐식용유를 재가공해 만든 '시궁창 식용유'를 대량으로 유통한 일당이 대거 적발됐다고  중국 라디오망이 13일 보도했다.

저장성과 산둥성 공안은 공조 수사를 통해 불량 식용유를 제조, 유통한 일당 32 명을 체포하고 이들이 많든 식용유 100여t을 압수했다고 밝혔다.

저장성 닝하이(寧海)현 공안은 폐식용유를 수거해 1차 정련을 거쳐 장쑤성과 산둥성의 식용유 제조 기업에 납품한 유(柳)모씨 일당을 붙잡았다.

이들은 '시궁창 식용유'로 만든 불량 식용유를 1t에 5천위안(84만4천원)의 값에 식용유 제조 공장에 넘겨온 것으로 조사됐다.

산둥성 공안은 이들로부터 불량 식용유를 공급받아 가공 공정을 거쳐 시중에 내다판 혐의로 황(黃)모씨 일당도 체포했다.

중국에서 불법 유통이 끊이지 않는 '시궁창 식용유'는 주로 길거리 음식을 파는 노점상이나 소형 식당에서 널리 쓰이는 것으로 알려졌으며 발암물질이 들어 있을 가 능성이 크다고 전문가들은 우려한다.