Year of the Pig

More bad news about the safety of China’s food supply and the willingness of the Chinese government to share necessary information to the rest of the world:

A mysterious epidemic is killing pigs in southeastern China, but international and Hong Kong authorities said today that the Chinese government is providing little information about it, or about the contaminated wheat gluten that has caused deaths and illnesses in other animals…

…Because pigs can catch many of the same diseases as people, including bird flu, the two U.N. agencies maintain global networks to track and investigate unexplained patterns of pig deaths.

Hong Kong television broadcasts and newspapers were full of lurid accounts today of pigs staggering around with blood pouring from their bodies in Gaoyao and neighboring Yunfu, both in Guangdong Province. The Apple Daily newspaper said that as many as 80 percent of the pigs in the area had died, that panicky farmers were selling ailing animals at deep discounts and that pig carcasses were floating in a river.

The reports in Hong Kong said the disease began killing pigs after the Chinese New Year celebrations in February, and is now spreading. But state-controlled news outlets in China have reported almost nothing about the pig deaths, and very little about the wheat gluten problem…

See the comment thread on pet food below for discussion and some great links on these issues (particularly the poisoned medicine story from the New York Times) and feel free to continue the discussion here.

The Discussion: 3 Comments

Ribs anyone? Think about this little outbreak next time you go out to eat or go to the supermarket.

May 8, 2007 @ 11:07 am | Comment

Wasn’t there a similar pig epidemic last year in Sichuan? Nobody knew what it was and after some time it disappeared. Never heared about it again, till now.

May 8, 2007 @ 3:31 pm | Comment

That occurred to me too, Shulan. I remember THM talking about it but didn’t read many details.

May 9, 2007 @ 1:07 am | Comment

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