Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Another Meat Crackdown

China's Commerce Ministry has announced that it will be one of six departments launching a nine-month crackdown on underground slaughterhouses and butchers. The stated purpose is to improve food safety by addressing "lean meat powder," pumping water into meat, and butchering sick pigs. The campaign plans to outlaw all underground slaughter activity and regulate the meat industry. By the end of June 2012, all meat in cities at the prefecture-level and higher should come only from "designated slaughterhouses." The notice stressed that all localities are to conduct unified crackdowns as directed by the State Council's order.

This follows a Ministry of Commerce order in July that required each locality to increase rectification efforts on the hog slaughter industry, cracking down on underground slaughter. The National Development and Reform Commission issued a notice at the end of September reducing inspection fees for hogs, cattle, sheep, dogs, chickens, and ducks.


Shall we point out that the Ministry launched other crackdowns last year that apparently fizzled out? A similar crackdown on slaughter houses was announced in May 2010. The central communist party web site announced last November that the Ministry launched a clenbuterol crackdown (but only six departments were involved in that one), several months before China Central Television revealed that use of "lean meat powders" was an open secret in the pork industry.

Perhaps they really mean it this time.

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