China Orders Greater Scrutiny of Meat Sales, Xinhua Reports

China ordered local authorities to tighten scrutiny of the production and sale of meat products, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, after police said this month they busted a ring selling fox and mink meat as mutton.

Local government agencies for agriculture, quality supervision and food and drug regulation should establish investigative and feedback systems for food safety, Xinhua reported today, citing the State Council’s Food Safety Commission Office. They should also ensure that dead animals aren’t butchered for sale, according to the report.

China has cracked down on food-safety violations after incidents including tainted baby formula, excessive levels of antibiotics in chicken and chemicals in liquor sparked public outrage. The nation created a new administration in March charged with overseeing food and drug safety in the country.

Premier Li Keqiang told a government meeting this week that a large amount of money should be spent for food safety to build up people’s confidence in what they eat, China National Radio reported May 13.

The Ministry of Public Security said in a May 2 statement that authorities had busted a criminal operation found to have sold rat, fox and mink meat as mutton in Shanghai and neighboring Jiangsu province, generating more than 10 million yuan ($1.62 million).

Local authorities should increase undercover and official checks on suspected fake meat syndicates, Xinhua reported today. Authorities should also increase incentives for and the protection of whistle blowers so that more citizens are encouraged to get involved in China’s effort to ensure food safety, according to the report.

— With assistance by Liza Lin

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