Meat that had been frozen for up to 40 years old was smuggled into China through a secret supply chain set up by gangs at home and accomplices abroad, according to law enforcement officers. The criminal network was revealed by customs officials after they busted 14 gangs in 14 provinces and regions in a crackdown on the smuggling of rotten frozen meat products, dubbed “zombie meat” by the media. The trade in expired meat developed to meet booming demand for meat products. The General Administration of Customs said officers confiscated more than 100,000 metric tons of smuggled frozen meat valued at 3 billion yuan ($483 million), if sold, including chicken wings, beef and pork…Full Article: China Daily July 2015

Key Points

  • From January to June 2015, China confiscated 420,000 MTs of frozen meat products.
  • According to a senior official with China’s Anti-Smuggling Bureau of the Changsha Administration of Customs, smuggled beef is initially procured from Europe and the USA, and transported in refrigerated containers to Hong Kong. Once in Hong Kong the beef is shipped to Vietnam where it is smuggled into Yunnan province or Guangxi Zhuang region. Once inside China, the beef is repackaged and sold to restaurants and other eateries.
  • In 2007, China issued regulations permitting the storage of frozen pork for up to four months and beef/mutton for up to eight months.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In June 2015, China halted a Japanese beef smuggling ring that imported the beef via Cambodia-Laos-Yunnan-Shanghai.
  • In May 2015, a dozen people were jailed in Zhejiang province for injecting water into cattle for profit.
  • In February 2015, China arrested nearly three dozen people who allegedly smuggled 6,000 tons of beef into the country. Anti-smuggling authorities based in Dalian, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou participated the nationwide crackdown.
  • In 2003, China banned US beef after a case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), aka mad cow disease, was detected in Washington state.
  • In 2001, China banned Japanese beef imports reportedly over concern for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or ‘mad cow’).

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