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. JustaGuy

    Damn communist capitalists.

    September 13, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nico247

      Its all about the individual, no matter where you live or the form government takes, people will do horrible things to provide themselves with money. Example- Man found in his garage selling meat. The meat was from stray dogs, he had been selling meat for two years before he was found out. That was in Philadelphia. Without a means to eek out a living people will turn to whatever will help them survive no matter who it affects. Amazing

      September 13, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian from Ohio

      This is where we are heading if the Republicans get total control.There will be little to no regulation.

      September 13, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Repstyle

    Waiter, there is a string in my sesame chicken...

    September 13, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • collins61

      Waiter, theres a homeless man in my Shrimp Toast.

      September 13, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      Dude, its not a string, its a pubic hair!

      September 13, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bimbo the Birthday Clown

      I didn't know chickens had pubic hair.

      September 13, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Burbank

    I knew it was gonig to be more scandal connected to China before I even clicked on the article. I think other countries need to boycott thier products until they get more respect for life. Don't trust countries where overpopulation is an issue. People overpopulate out of a lack of respect for life and human dignity, not love of it!

    September 13, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marc Benarrous

      Um Considering they have 5 times more people than we do they have alot less crime per capita...yes they were out for a buck obviously but isnt that the "American" way?

      September 13, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • asdioh

      If they have less crime then its because crime is rarely enforced in china. They have too many unmonitored governments which causes widespread corruption. Statistics in china are also completely irrelevant because they are always padded to look better than things really are.

      September 13, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • TODAY

      Boycot.???...the only item MADE IN US ...were my glasses from Dollar Store...LOL

      September 13, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. John K

    Mmmmm... sanitary napkin flavored oil.

    September 13, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chartreuxe

    There's not enough yuck in the universe...

    September 13, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bobcat2u

    This kinda makes you think twice about going to these chinese restaurants. Could this be where that unique flavor comes from ?

    September 13, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron Poscovsky

      YES

      September 13, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • TODAY

      oh dear...you shouldn't have mentioned this...yuck!

      September 13, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. DJR

    Upping the protection of food is a great step for China. It is also why, America need not purchase food products from any where else but the USA.

    September 13, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. corntrader19

    Somehow this doesn't surprise me in an uncivilized country where they eat anything that crawls across the floor.

    September 13, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dr. Ruth

    The chineese goverment should encourage the reuse of oil, not for food comsumption but for fuel.. that could be Bio Diesel..

    no imagination..

    September 13, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob Loblaw

      I agree entirely! There is already a robust underground usage of waste cooking oil consumption in the U.S. for biodiesel. You can find kits to convert many diesel engines to run on cooking oil. Many / most restaurants don't care if you make an arrangement with them to collect their oil, usually after hours. I have colleagues who do this, and haven't paid for gasoline since back when it cost $1.35/gal. It's a little messy, and there's your own time/labor, but otherwise it's free and it works!

      September 13, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bob

    Sounds like recycling to me. Go China!

    September 13, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. psbfla

    Check out the home made ladle in the picture. "Excuse me, sir. Could we borrow your hard hat for just a minute?"

    September 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. DNadeau

    gutter flavor in every bite, the taste of the orient.

    September 13, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. TODAY

    Where can I buy anything in US that is not MADE IN CHINA?

    September 13, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. TODAY

    this makes me sick

    September 13, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. upsetnay

    Is this what we want from America. An unregulated country. Is this what the republicans want. Well this is what we'll get since they want to take away all the government controls

    September 13, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
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