Clenbuterol is a chemical that can be fed to pigs to prevent them from accumulating fat. It is banned as an additive in pig feed in China because it can end up in the flesh of pigs and is poisonous to humans if injected.
The group ordered Jiyuan Shuanghui to halt operations and sent a deputy general manager to the company to impose corrective measures, according to the statement.
The Ministry of Agriculture sent a team to Henan Province on Tuesday to investigate, and the provincial government ordered 16 pig farms to halt pig and pork sales and sealed feedstuff suspected to contain the additive.
After this scandal was exposed, Shuanghui’s stocks took a big hit. From People’s Daily:
Shares of Shenzhen-listed Henan Shuanghui Investment & Development Co., Ltd. were suspended from being traded at 9:30 a.m.after China Central Television reported one of its affiliate, Jiyuan Shuanghui Food Co., Ltd., purchased pigs fed with Clenbuterol, according to the suspension notice.
Shares of the company, Shuanghui Development (000895.SZ), fell Tuesday by the 10-percent daily limit to 77.94 yuan.
Shuanghui Development and Jiyuan Shuanghui are both under Shuanghui Group, which is headquartered in Henan’s Luohe City with a total assets of over 10 billion yuan ( 1.52 billion U.S. dollars). The group has factories in 12 provinces throughout China, producing cooked meat products such as sausage, and also has branches in Japan, Singapore, Philippines and the Republic of Korea, according to its website.
A CCTV report, which first unveiled this scandal, found that giving pigs chemical-laden feed is a routine practice for China’s pork industry. From ShanghaiDaily:
BANNED drugs are being fed to pigs as a matter of course in central China’s Henan Province as farmers seek to produce leaner pork. Tainted pork is reaching the market due to lax supervision and corruption, China Central Television reported in a recent TV program.
It discovered that almost all pig farms in Mengzhou City in Henan, one of China’s biggest pig breeding areas, mixed ractopamine – a stimulant drug that promotes lean meat – into pig feed.Jiyuan Shuanghui Food Co Ltd, a Henan subsidiary of famous pork manufacturer Shuanghui Group, was found to be slaughtering pigs fed the banned drug.
The company, which boasts it conducts 18 rounds of tests, didn’t scan for ractopamine when buying pigs, CCTV reported. Song Hongliang, a manager in charge of pig purchase, admitted they brought tainted pigs and even offered higher prices.
Pig breeder Cao Fuxing, who has sold to Jiyuan Shuanghui for years, said the company favored such animals. “They only want pigs fed with the drug, because their pork products are more popular,” Cao said.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Health and the State Food and Drug Administration banned ractopamine in 2002. But the premium paid on pigs fed the drug make breeders willing to take the risk.