TVNZ reports the tainted meat sales coincided with a sudden outbreak of bird flue and other environmental pressures.
During the investigation police confiscated more than 20,000 tons of tainted meat products at an illegal food plant, according to the Ministry of Public Security.
In addition, authorities discovered one of the suspects -- who was nicknamed Wei -- had been using additives to spice up and sell rat, fox, and mink meat in Shanghai and Jiangsu markets.
"Food safety crimes are still prominent, and new situations are emerging with new characteristics," the Ministry said in a statement.
In April chinese consumers faced and H7N9 outbreak as the bird flue virus spread in China prompting poultry sales to drop as low as 80 percent in some regions. And in March over 16,000 rotten pigs and 1,000 ducks were found floating in Chinese rivers.
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