BEIJING, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Ten people have been arrested and almost 100
processing firms have been closed since China's agriculture authorities launched
a crackdown on the illegal use of pesticides and animal feed additives.
Vice Minister of Agriculture Gao Hongbin said on Monday that the government
has strengthened inspections of farm produce nationwide.
No more than seven percent of Chinese vegetables and only two percent of
meat products were failing Chinese quality standards, Gao said.
"More than 93 percent of the vegetables are safe in terms of pesticide
residue and more than 98 percent of meat products are up to scratch concerning
the remains of clenobuterol hydrochloride," Gao said in Beijing.
Clenobuterol hydrochloride is a drug some farmers used to feed pigs to
develop more muscles before selling them. It has been abolished due to side
effects to human heart.
The quality of Chinese farm produce had been improving over the years, he
The government had banned the illegal production, sale and use of five
types of highly toxic pesticides, including methamidophos and parathion, he
said. "We aim to confiscate and destroy all toxic pesticides.
"We also aim to bring all the wholesale markets in the large and
medium-sized under quality surveillance," Gao said.
He said 479, or 71 percent of the 676 wholesale markets in cities were
being monitored, 15 percentage points higher than before the nationwide quality
The agricultural authorities have inspected 73,000 firms and wholesale
markets since the quality drive was launched last month, he said.
The authorities had investigated 8,111 cases and referred eight to
"Ten people were arrested, 95 firms that have no licenses were shut down
and another six revoked of their licenses," he added.
Food safety has become a major public concern in China after a spate of
food scares from parasite-infested snails to ducks and hens that were fed
cancer-causing Sudan Red dye to make their egg yolks red.