Dead pigs in Shanghai river

Published on Author drago

Today authorities in Shanghai have pulled over 6,000 dead pig bodies from a river that runs through Shanghai. The pigs are believed to have been dumped in Zhejiang’s Jiaxing City. Official have said that the water is not contaminated, but many locals are not taking any chances and have switched to bottled water. However, they are still dependent on the water for other activities. It has been speculated that the pigs were dumped due to reasons relating to the crackdown on meat being sold from infected pigs. To avoid being caught and punished it is believed that farmers dumped the pigs. Source

[the prof: also check the more extensive Bloomberg story. this clearly fits with Friday’s topic, Mike Drago beat me to the return key in posting this]

6 Responses to Dead pigs in Shanghai river

  1. China’s legislature is in the process of discussing food safety after this and the KFC scare. Friday we talked about the U.S. prior to the passage of the Clean Air Act, arguably a reactionary piece of legislation. China is responding in a similar manner to both food and environmental issues. According to Bloomberg, the government announced on March 10 it “plans to create a regulator with broader authority to ensure food and drug safety and said the agriculture ministry will oversee the quality of farm products.” Last month, the government detailed plans to add a carbon tax.

  2. After several food and environmental issues, the Chinese are beginning to push food and drug safety. The thousands of dead pigs may represent an encouraging step forward in Chinese public health. In May, the Jiaxing police arrested four people who had sold dead pigs to slaughterhouses and in December a Zhejiang Province court sentenced 17 people to prison sentences, one for life, for processing and selling meat from pigs that had died of various diseases (In <2 yrs, the group has collected about 77,000 animals). Additionally, after the pigs began showing up in the river last weekend, teams collected the carcasses out of the water and buried them deep in trenches. Uniformed inspectors lugging suitcases filled with laboratory equipment tested pork samples at outdoor markets throughout the city. And the Ministry of Agriculture announced that it would undertake its own investigation. Are the government's actions going to improve food and drug safety or are these actions sole purpose to decrease/counteract the negative attention?

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  3. The political economy of this is central. Keep watching: what happens (or fails to happen) on such issues will certainly presage wider political reform.

  4. As of March 16th the total number of dead pigs near Shanghai had reached 12,566 according to the huffington post. Furthermore, Jiaxing has reportedly retrieved 3,601 dead pigs from their streams. Some of the dead pigs even tested positive for the porcine circovirus and the common diarrhea virus. I am curious to see what legislation is passed and how quickly in order to counter this problem.

  5. Who should be responsible for this event? The pork vendors? The government? It is hard to say. Food safety has always remained one of the biggest issues; yet, government intervention isn’t enough and effective. Because nothing has changed much after even more devastating events. For example, the 2008 baby milk scandal resulted in death of six children and illness of thousands of babies. There need to be some market-driven incentives to ensure food safety.

  6. Interesting that this article comes up as another article on Bloomberg was shared today titled “World With More Phones Than Toilets Shows Water Challenge”. Clearly the availability of water and the sanitation of it is a hot topic right now. The last thing China needs is pig corpses infecting a significant clean water supply. This is an issue that will be pertinent for years to come and it will be interesting to see how China responds to increase water availability for its population.