32 arrested for selling waste cooking oil as new
Chinese police inspect illegal cooking oil, better known as "gutter oil" seized during a crackdown in Beijing last year.
September 13th, 2011
11:05 AM ET

32 arrested for selling waste cooking oil as new

Thirty-two people have been arrested in China for selling cooking oil recovered from gutters behind restaurants, the state-run Xinhua news agency reports.

China's Ministry of Public Security said it recovered more than 100 tons of the illegal so-called "gutter oil," the report said.

The arrests came after a six-month investigation that spanned 14 provinces, according to Xinhua.

The state-run China Daily, citing a report in the Beijing Times, said the oil comes from restaurant gutters, leftover pieces of pork and poultry fat. It is refined at illegal plants that remove impurities with calcium carbonate and neutralize acidity with alkali.

The oil then is repackaged and sold with customers unable to tell its origins, China Daily reported. Testing at state-run facilities showed some of the oil met safety guidelines, China Daily reported, citing the Beijing Times.

Authorities shut down six underground production sites, Xinhua reported.

Earlier this year, authorities destroyed two illegal cooking oil production facilities in Guangdong province, Xinhua reported in May.

An oil container at one of those plants had sanitary napkins, plastic bags and other garbage in it, according to the Xinhua report.

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Filed under: China • Crime • Food
soundoff (273 Responses)
  1. David

    It can run my desiel car.... Ship it to me!

    September 13, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • sanitary napkins in it?

      It sounds as though it would make a desiel sick

      September 13, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. MMMMM

    This made me so hungry! Time for some fish and chips!

    September 13, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. DogLover

    what a f'd up country

    September 13, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Andulamb

      Right. Nothing bad ever happens in your country.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • bonehead

      If people have to resort to this in China, the people must be desperate. Is that the smell of rancid oil or "revolution"

      September 13, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  4. devcon13

    I just threw up in my mouth...

    September 13, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. f

    I love Chinese food!

    September 13, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bimbo the Birthday Clown

      Their waiters never are rude.

      I like Chinese
      I like Chinese
      They only come up to your knees.

      September 13, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. randy

    I has to be refined to run bio diesel in a car and the car needs some modification. But can't they smell the oil to see if it was previously gutter oil? I am sure the chinese would not care, they eat anything.

    September 13, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Darth Cheney

    I always wondered what the secret ingredient in General Tso's Chicken was that gave it that heavy gloppiness...

    September 13, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • JW

      The "secret ingredient" that makes General Tso's thick is regular sugar.

      September 13, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • boogietime

      No, the secret ingredient is General Tsao.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. RunForTheHills

    These people have found an innovative way to recycle waste that meets safety specifications, and they are labeled as criminals because they compete with big-agro. Typical government corporatist corruption.

    September 13, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • JfromNH

      "Testing at state-run facilities showed some of the oil met safety guidelines"

      SOME – that means most of the oil did not meet safety guidelines.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Read and comprehend

      They were selling COOKING OIL, recovered from GUTTERS you moron. Did you even read the article? Did your knee bash you in the mouth when it jerked? Did it stick? If it didn't, it's not because that idiotic yap of yours isn't big enough for it to fit.

      September 13, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bimbo the Birthday Clown

      I'm sure if you run excrement through an autoclave, it will pass those same safety standards.

      September 13, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • John K

      The maxipads made it extra "innovative".

      September 13, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. yuh

    cool story bro

    September 13, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Alfred

    So... they got arrested for recycling???

    September 13, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Scottish Mama

    But the gutter oil makes everything taste so good. My husband and I go into oil binds and allies to recover this liquid gold. Mmm finger licking good.

    September 13, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bimbo the Birthday Clown

      Was it Fight Club, where they were stealing human fat from Lyposuction Clinic waste bins?

      September 13, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. RUFFNUTT (ELF SLAYER & PURPLE KUSH SMOKER , )

    "An oil container at one of those plants had sanitary napkins"...
    .
    only a vapire would be intrested in this oil container..

    September 13, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. roger

    LOOK OUT KFC HERE I COME.... To bad there oil smells BURNT when its used, would be hard to get that stench/smell out

    September 13, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Contractor Bob

    Is that my missing hard hat they've attached to a stick to use as a laddle? And check out that fence, who approved that permit?

    Brilliant

    September 13, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. dx2718

    This sounds like a very environmentally friendly idea. Perhaps they can work WITH the restaurants and pay a bit to have the restaurants give them the oil directly, then refine it from there? Then there at least won't be garbage in it, so maybe the extra costs in paying the restaurants for the oil will be offset by the lessened costs of purification. Seems like that oil, if it's usable, SHOULD be used though. Otherwise it just pollutes.

    September 13, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bimbo the Birthday Clown

      We already do that here, to make pet foods and other products.

      September 13, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
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