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Rat-meat ring busted in China

May 3, 2013 at 7:07 AM  |  Updated May 3, 2013 at 10:32 AM   |   Comments

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May 3 (UPI) -- Chinese officers have arrested 904 suspects in relation to a gang that passed off more than $1 million of rat and other mammal's meat as mutton.

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.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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