Suspects seized in China’s fake mutton case

(CCTV)

Lucrative profits were the major motivation behind the production and sale of fake mutton made from fox and other animals, confessed a suspect involved in a recently busted fake meat case in east China’s Jiangsu Province.

During an exclusive interview with China Central Television (CCTV) on Sunday, the suspect, surnamed Wei from the city of Wuxi in Jiangsu, said that he resorted to illegal means after not being able to earn much profit from the sale of real mutton.

Wei said that he originally sold real mutton, but that a combination of slack business, low profits and an approach from east China’s Shandong Province offering to sell him fox meat, tempted him to start selling fake mutton.

He said that the materials used to make fake mutton came mainly from Shandong. As the province farmers raise foxes for fur, the leftover meat is sometimes illegally sold to small mutton processing businesses at low prices.

“Generally, we made less profit selling real mutton and much more profit from the fake mutton made from fox. We were all small family businesses with low incomes. We simply wanted to make more money,” said Wei.

The low cost of fox meat, along with its mutton-like flavor and simple processing procedure were also reasons for using fox meat to produce fake mutton, Wei said.

Wei expressed regret for his illegal actions, and for putting the health of consumers at risk by selling meat products without being inspected by quarantine authorities.

Wai also said that he knew he had cheated consumers and violated the country’s laws, adding “I really regret what I’ve done. What I did was wrong and I will accept the punishment”.

“I hope that they [other fake mutton producers] stop their wrongdoings after this case and instead turn to legal means to do business,” said Wei.

However, Wei denied the charge of processing fake mutton with meat from rats.

“I assure you that I did not use rat meat to make fake mutton. The material they sent to me was all lean meat from foxes. I swear on my honor that there was no rat, none at all,” said Wei.

According to the police, they did not discover any rat meat when they busted the illegal businesses in Wuxi.

However, some of the case’s suspects said during interrogations that rat meat was included in the materials they used to produce fake mutton.

The case is still under investigation.

A total of 904 people were captured during a three-month campaign involving meat-related crimes such as producing fake beef and mutton made from rat and fox in China.

According to the Ministry of Public Security, the police uncovered 382 cases involving meat-related offenses, and have seized more than 20,000 tons of illegal products since January 25.

In Wuxi, suspects made fake mutton from fox, mink and rat by adding chemicals. The products were sold to markets and the suspects made more than 10 million yuan (about 1.6 million US dollars) from the illegal business.

(Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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