Thread: Glowing Blue Pork Found in China
#1 Glowing Blue Pork Found in China04-18-2011, 11:46 AMSo this story on ChinaSMACK, which offers English-language translations of odds and ends found on the Chinese internet, caught our attention: "Blue Glowing Pork Meat Found in Shanghai."
For one, the story itself is sort of priceless: Apparently, one "Miss Chen" gets up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and notices a faint blue light coming from her kitchen, only to discover that the source of this ghostly glow is none other than the slab of pork that she'd purchased the day before and left on the table (left on the table!?).
Second, there's a tone of eager, earnest amazement that runs throughout the article which makes it feel less like a digitized dispatch from a teeming megatropolis on the other side of the globe and more like something you'd find in the dusty archives of, say, the Walnut Grove Gazette. To wit, "In order to be sure she wasn't seeing things, Miss Chen woke up her family to look at this piece of strange meat together. The pork glowed in the dark but returned to 'normal' in the morning. Both astonished and afraid, Miss Chen's family did not dare to eat from this piece of pork again. Yesterday afternoon, this reporter rushed to Miss Chen's home and saw this piece of glowing pork."
If you've ever flipped through yellowing copies of old small-town newspapers, this has a familiar ring, like the sorts of stories found beneath headlines declaring, "Local Man's Garden Squash Bears Holy Visage."
But could it be true? Given that "Miss Chen" lives in Shanghai and we, um, don't, that makes the task of verification a little more difficult than darting over to Old Man McGillicutty's place to see if said squash really looks like Jesus.
An "exhaustive" search of the literature (thanks Google Books!) revealed astounding evidence that, yes, meat stored in conditions that in the U.S. would saddle you with a health code violation can indeed start to glow like the ghost of Christmas past.
04-18-2011, 12:20 PM
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Corrupt vendors are selling diseased pork meat during the peak season for Blue Ear Pig Disease.
Blue-Ear Plague kills pigs, diseased pork sold
China’s swine industry has been devastated by what locals are calling the Blue-Ear plague. According to breeders the disease has recurred annually for the last five years, killing about one million pigs alone in 2007. This year the disease broke out in April and has spread further and lasted longer. It is currently high season for the plague.
Residents say 60% of swine livestock died in Yicheng City, in China’s central Hubei province. Locals do not dare to eat pork products. However they have reported that vendors are continuing to purchase the diseased or dead stock, selling it off for a hefty profit in other regions, and internationally.
Blue-Ear Plague kills pigs, diseased pork sold
Speaking to SOH a local resident said the blue-ear plague has been wide spread in the region for the last three years, baffling even animal health experts.
The man had this to say (recording):
“The plague has been around for several years. Who has tried to take care of this matter? No one. It has been at least three years. We call it the Swine Blue-Ear Plague. Even the pigs at the farm managed by the vet hospital died before the vet doctors knew they had the disease. Where did the ill pigs go? The vendors came to purchase them, stored them in freezers. These vendors who specialize in purchasing ill pigs make huge profits. They buy an [ill] pig for 50 Yuan (that’s about 7 US dollars), or 100 Yuan (about 15 US dollars), while they sell it at 1,000 Yuan (that’s about 150 US dollars), which is the price for a live, healthy pig.”
Mr. Yu of Yicheng city said the average consumer can’t tell whether the pork they buy comes from a healthy pig or diseased one. Because of this locals are staying away from pork products all together.
Mr. Yu told SOH (recording):
“Basically, every family that has raised pigs had almost all their pigs die. About 60% of pigs died. The plague is incurable. It has been around for four or five years. Our area has seen it every year. Now this year it has spread for one and half months. Those families who make their living by raising pigs. Some raise tens of thousands of pigs, or four to five thousand pigs. Now the pork from ill pigs is being sold as healthy pigs. When a 200 pound pig dies, the vendor buys it at 50 Yuan (that’s about 7 US dollars), and then sells it at 1,000 Yuan (about 150 US dollars) to 2,000 Yuan (about 290 US dollars).”
Two more residents from the Yincheng City town of Liushui confirmed to SOH reporters that many of the ill or dead pigs are shipped and sold out of the region.
Mr. Lei said (recording):
“It is a swine plague. Nearly half of the pigs died in our village. The vendors come every day. They certainly will sell these pigs to someone, somewhere. We local residents do not dare to buy pork.”
Another resident, Ms Wu, added (recording):
“The pigs in our village are all dying, about all of them. Last year we slaughtered several pigs and put the pork into our freezer. We didn’t have to buy [pork] last year. This year we do not dare to buy pork sold on the market.”
The Blue-Ear Plague affecting pigs in China is also called Porcine Reproductive & Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS). The disease affects the reproductive system, it causes breathing difficulty, and bluish purple ears, and it often incurs other types of contagious diseases.
Veterinarian doctors have observed new forms of the virus. At the end of 2009, the disease was widely spread in Henan Province, Hubei Province and Shandong Province. In April this year, reports of the disease came in from several regions including Guangxi province, and cities in Guangdong province with significant swine industry were affected, such as Maoming, Zhanjiang, Meizhou, Jiangmen and Foshan.
Yang Zheng and Yu Liang of the SOH Radio Network
04-18-2011, 12:27 PM
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Emerging Disease Notice
people digging up the remains of dead pigs to sell the meat and bones to restaurants. ... 2007, Chinese authorities notified the OIE that they were waiting for further laboratory confirmation of ... reported that pig blue-ear disease had killed more than ... extensive economic losses and an enormous rise in pork ...
Pig breeders in central provinces ignoring ban
Although Quang Nam province in Vietname has banned the slaughter and sale of pigs, local people are still selling their pigs infected with PRRS (blue-ear).
Many pig breeders want to sell as many of them as possible now that the epidemic had spread in the area. On many roads, pig sellers have been racing their motorbikes to transport pigs from diseased quarters to scattered slaughterhouses. The pork was still being sold freely in many markets in the Da Nang city area.
A pork seller at Hoi An market said, "Nobody has ever said anything about the pork sale ban. My pork is from identifiable sources, clean and disease-free and every piece has quality inspection stamps."
04-18-2011, 01:25 PM
I would have expected that glowing blue pork would be far more likely to be found in northern Japan right now than in China.
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