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Asia / Pharmaceutical

‘Gutter oil’ at center of Chinese pharmaceutical scandal

September 10, 2012
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BEIJING — Chinese authorities are investigating claims that some of the country’s pharmaceutical manufacturers are using “gutter oil,” or reprocessed kitchen waste dredged from restaurant chains, to make antibiotics, BBC News reported.

Gutter oil, which is a cheaper alternative to soybean oil, has also been involved in scandals over contaminated food.

In April, government officials cracked down on underground workshops that used decomposing animal fat and organs to produce gutter oil, which they then sold to food manufacturers.

And in September 2011, police arrested 32 people accused in connection with an operation that sold gutter oil as cooking oil.

The Chinese government said it would reveal the findings of the investigation soon.

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