Antibiotic misuse in China underestimated
Antibiotics added to the feed of livestock to increase productivity are not just limited to clenbuterol, and authorities are largely blind to such adulteration, according to an industry insider.
A scandal uncovered last month involved pork produced by Shuanghui Group, China's largest meat producer, which was tainted with clenbuterol, which had been added to pig feed.
"In 2006, of 210,000 tons of antibiotics produced in China, 97,000 tons were directly used in livestock feed," said professor Xiao Yonghong, head of the National Antimicrobial Resistant Investigation Net under the Ministry of Health.
Xiao said that the misuse of antibiotics can be disastrously detrimental to a wide range of people.
Chinese police have detained 95 people in connection with the clenbuterol case involving a subsidiary of China’s largest meat producer Shuanghui Group.
Police have closed their investigations after having taken 95 people into custody between March 14 and 29 in the central provinces of Hubei, Henan, Shaanxi and Jiangsu, it said.
The scandal reportedly cost the company more than 12.1 billion yuan (about $1.85 billion) in just the two weeks after it was exposed by China Central Television on March 15.
Pork is the most popular meat in China, where each year more than 600 million pigs are slaughtered, according to Xinhua.
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