People in China have been revolted and outraged by news that crooks have been selling rats and rodents as mutton for the last 4 years.
Reuters is reporting that Chinese police have busted a crime ring selling rat meat as lamb. They have arrested some 900 people in what was a $1 million scam. According to ABS-CBN news, “police discovered one suspect surnamed Wei who had used additives to spice up and sell rat, fox and mink meat at markets in Shanghai and Jiangsu province.” Authorities have confiscated more than 20,000 tonnes of the stuff.
The South China Morning Post says that "After adding gelatine, carmine, nitrate and other substances,” the suspect "sold the meat as fake lamb rolls." According to the paper, the police have found eight other “stomachs-wrenching cases” of tainted food being sold from "diseased animals, steroid-manipulated meat and sewer oil," since the beginning of the year.
The Guardian, reported officials as saying the, “Levels of E coli in the counterfeit product "seriously exceeded standards." Last year, another suspect from Shaanxi province, sold mutton that turned black to a barbecue restaurant, killing one customer and poisoning a handful of others.
This is not the only food scare recently. ABS-CBN said consumers have also stopped buying poultry, because of an outbreak of the H7N9 bird flu virus and in March, “more than 16,000 rotting pigs were found floating in one of Shanghai's main water sources," which was probably the result of farmers dumping them due to overcrowding in pig farms.
Such things are not rare in China. The South China Morning Post says that “in 2010, some 300,000 children got sick after consuming melamine-tainted milk products. Studies last year showed excessive amounts of heavy metals in rice from several regions. In 2005, a fake chicken egg producer's website boasted producing 1,500 eggs a day out of paraffin wax and algae.”