Shanghai food and drug watchdog has begun a series of inspections to prevent unsafe meat products from sneaking into the market in the wake of steep rises in the price of pork, Shanghai Morning Post reported today.
The inspections will mainly target pork and check for clenobuterol hydrochloride and pork injected with water. The booths and refrigerators used for meat products will also be examined to see whether they have a qualified certificate.
Clenobuterol hydrochloride is a drug used to treat bronchial asthma and it has been abolished because of its side effects which affect the heart. Some farmers use it in breeding pigs to develop more muscles before selling.
Victims of clenobuterol hydrochloride poisoning will suffer increased heart rates, fatigue, hand tremors and vomiting.
Some sellers may try to make greater profits from the sale of water-injected pork, which increases the weight.
Any problems discovered during the inspections will be traced back, the report said.
Pork prices in many Chinese cities have skyrocketed since late this month because of a shortage of supply.
Shanghai's wholesale pork price has hit more than 16 yuan (US$2.09) a kilogram, up 15 to 20 percent from last month and the highest price in a decade. The retail price hit 22 yuan a kg in supermarkets.
(Shanghai Daily June 1, 2007)