S Korea Destroys Contaminated Chinese Beef Products

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SEOUL April 27

The South Korean government on Monday ordered the destruction of Chinese beef products tainted with a substance that can cause rapid pulse, dizziness and heart-related disorders.

Imported sauce and soup from three Chinese companies have tested positive for Clenbuterol, the Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) said.

The discovery follows confirmation that the chemical, used in drugs to treat asthma for humans, was found in beef stock imported from China earlier in the month that prompted Seoul to request a temporary suspension of exports from the country of condensed meat-based products.

Clenbuterol is often prescribed to people suffering from breathing disorders but is prohibited from being given to animals as it is known to enhance muscle tone, which can increase the weight of livestock and fetch higher prices.

The KFDA said that it found 0.6-2.6 parts per million of the chemical in beef seasoning oil, soups and other beef-based products made from such companies as Chang Chun Haein Food and Qingzhou Hengtai Food.

It said a recall order has been issued for the products with those collected to be tested and destroyed as a preventative measure.

The health authority said the contaminated products found in the latest screening are part of the larger shipment totalling 189 tons.

"A recall and sales ban has been in effect since April 9, with retailers and other distributors ordered not to sell the products until they have been checked by labs," a government official said. He added, however, that products that showed no traces of the drug can be sold on the market.

Experts say that although the drug is not tolerated in food, the quantities detected so far are not enough to pose any health risk.

The KFDA said the latest discovery has made a detailed quarantine and inspection of all Chinese-made food products for Clenbuterol imperative.


April 27, 2009


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