Nearly 300 people fell ill in central China after eating meat suspected of containing illegal additives, the latest in a spate of contamination problems to emerge even as the government vows to crack down on food-safety violators.
Officials in Changsha, the capital of central Hunan province, confirmed on Monday that 286 people had sought medical help over the weekend after eating in Wu Feng, a village 25 miles southwest of Changsha. Eight people are still in hospital. The state-run China Daily newspaper blamed clenbuterol, a substance that speeds muscle growth in pigs but can cause headache, nausea and an irregular heartbeat when consumed by humans. Changsha authorities could not confirm the report, saying that they were opening an investigation.
China has been hit by a wave of food-additive scares recently. Health officials over the weekend ordered 17 noodle makers in Dongguan, a city in southern Guangdong province, to stop production after discovering their products contained non-edible additives such as ink, industrial dye and paraffin wax, according to the China Daily.