Body-Builder Pork
Hospitalizes 39

From Correspondents In Beijing

(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 reported.
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,4057,7625869%255E13762,00.html



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