- (AFP) -- Pork contaminated with a fat-burning chemical
popular among body-builders has poisoned 39 people in northeast China's
Liaoyang city, state media said today.
- Of those poisoned, 29 had to be hospitalized with symptoms
ranging from involuntary twitching to acute thirstiness, the China Daily
- It turned out they had all eaten pork containing clenbuterol
hydrochloride, a chemical developed to fight asthma which has grown popular
among body-builders because it also burns fat.
- For much the same reasons, pig farmers like the product
as it helps them produce leaner meat.
- It is not the first time that this particular chemical
has sent pork eaters to hospital in China. In 2001, it poisoned 484 residents
of south China's Heyuan city, the paper said.
- Officials complained to the paper that despite random
checks, it is hard to stop farmers from using the chemical, because of
its easy availability.
- Food poisoning cases happen frequently in China, and
are mainly due to insufficient government monitoring of the food service
industry and poor hygiene practices, although crime is also sometimes involved.
- Agence France-Presse