Farmers Hired to Dispose of Sick Pigs Sold Them as Food

3 arrested in food scandal, but whereabouts of 44 tons of meat unknown

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted May 7, 2013 9:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – If you're in China and craving pork, probably best to hold off for a bit. Two farmers, along with a third suspect, were arrested for allegedly selling tainted pork in the country, and authorities are still looking for 44 tons of the stuff. The suspects got their hands on the meat in a fairly twisted manner, according to police: The government had hired the farmers to collect and dispose of sick and dead pigs using bio-safety methods, China Daily reports. Instead, police say they confessed to having sold pork cut from those pigs to meat processors since August.

Police are still trying to figure out who bought the tainted pork; here's one disturbing sentence from China Daily: "They hope to find the meat before it is eaten." Police were tipped off in March that the suspects were storing diseased pigs in a freezer; officers eventually found more than 25 tons of disease-infected pork there, and the farmers and their driver were detained after being found transporting more than seven tons of dead pigs in a truck. Time notes that more than 900 people have been busted for selling tainted or fake meat in the past three months alone (including rat meat sold as lamb).

A man selects pork at a market in Nanjing in east China's Jiangsu province on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012.   (AP Photo)
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