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. TODAY

    Testing at state-run facilities showed some of the oil met safety guidelines, China Daily reported, citing the Beijing Times.
    ....LOL...

    September 13, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Capitan

    @asdioh

    "If they have less crime then its because crime is rarely enforced in china"

    They enforce crime?

    September 13, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. petridish

    ...and I used to like Chinese food...

    September 13, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • jeff winger

      this has absolutely nothing to do with american chinese fast food you think is real chinese food. don't mistake though, all the fast food you eat here is just as bad, you know how much grease you consume every year? please stop trying to connect dots, you're terrible at it.

      September 13, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spendlove

      Still lovin sweet and sour pork and I don't give a **** who cares. :p

      September 13, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rethink

      In China, the just call it "food."

      September 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rethink

      In China, they just call it "food."

      September 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kam

      No in China they call it horrible American food that Americans try to pass off as Chinese...

      September 13, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jujubes

    we were in China years ago and saw the street vendors dig into the garbage to collect the used skewers to reuse...so this doesn't surprise me in the least.

    September 13, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mseikeh

    Whenever I hear a story like this I feel sad. Mostly because this will be the number one fear on people mind EVERY WHERE IN THE WORLD, 50 or 75 years from now. More scary, perhaps it will catch me before I die. All because, we are determined to grow uncontrolaby, or some of us feel like growing uncontrolably.....

    September 13, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • broken_record

      Totally Agree ! Uncontrollable breeding by the human kind is bring all kinds of problems. You just nailed the root of all present day causes.

      September 13, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. asdioh

    China is the best example of capitalism in the world, want to know what happens when you give companies more freedom and take away regulations? Look no further than China. Grey skies, poison lakes, toxin laced food, 18 hour work days, buildings made out of garbage instead of cement, all in the name of capitalism.

    Make sure to vote conservative, america needs to be more like china.

    September 13, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Red

      China and Capitalism go together like hammers and panties. It's called Communism, look it up and read about it! You definitely win the award for "comments that make you dumber after you've 'red' them".

      September 13, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • chibidw

      Don't forget the water that catches on fire!

      September 13, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blue

      Red, before you go knocking other people's comments, learn a thinger two, ok, moron? Sure, China doesn't have a purely capitalist economy but it sure as hell isn't purely Communist either.

      Have you done any kind of reading outside of CNN??

      September 13, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shark Connoisseur

      LOL at RED sounding stupid

      September 13, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Will

      Red - If you believe that China is really "communist" then I have some nice seaside property in Detroit with your name written all over it

      September 13, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Red

      Is is Blue or Blew? You sound like just another tree hugger like A$sdough.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. John

    I find it amazing that people here are blaming the Republicans or the Democrats for this. Why is it every story, no matter where it is located or what it is about is spun to be caused by one or the other American political parties. Sometimes ignorant people scare me.

    September 13, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • frankly

      people blame the democrats for shutting this operation down and the republicans for allowing it to happen

      September 13, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Rosyrow

    People are complaining how we should boycott stuff made from China and elsewhere and buy products made in US only. Well first of all, snooty Americans as we are, we are not willing to be paid for cheap labor compare to people in these other countries. Hence, for companies to be more profitable aka Walmart; and products to be more affordable,they go to China where labor is cheaper. So next time, when you walk into Walmart (or any other American companies that sell products made in China), thank China for making your cost of living more affordable.

    September 13, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Huh?

      So the company I used to work for making an American made product closes its doors and moves its operation to China where people will work for poverty wages. I am now laid off and can't buy half of what I used to. Some affordable cost living that turned out to be!! Thanks China.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Arran Webb

    It's no worse than using sewage sludge and grey water as fertilizer in food production. This is happening all over the US.

    September 13, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. steven harnack

    Welcome to the America of no regulation agencies, the Republican dream is a nightmare.

    September 13, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Arran Webb

    Sewage sludge regularly tests positive for a host of heavy metals, flame retardants, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, pharmaceuticals, phthalates, dioxins, and a host of other chemicals and organisms. Of the thousands of contaminants that have been found in sludge, the U.S. government regulates exactly 10 of them (nine heavy metals and fecal coliform) if you want to spread the sludge on farm fields growing food crops. We eat it.

    September 13, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Kerygma

    Off with their heads!!!

    September 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ocean

    Seriously???!!!! I fail to see why a story like this would make it this far... blah

    September 13, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. DD

    She's a witch! Burn her!

    September 13, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • svann

      How do you know she's a witch?

      September 13, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bimbo the Birthday Clown

      She looks like one.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. svann

    I think if you can purify water (you know what I mean) to a drinkable state you can probably also purify oil.

    September 13, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bimbo the Birthday Clown

      True, but I wouldn't trust an unregulated plant in the inner city to do it properly.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
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