Chinese police have broken up a criminal ring accused of taking meat from rats and foxes and selling it as lamb in the country’s latest food safety scandal.
The Ministry of Public Security released results of a three-month crackdown on food safety violators, saying in a statement that authorities investigated more than 380 cases and arrested 904 suspects.
Among those arrested were 63 people who allegedly ran an operation in Shanghai and the coastal city of Wuxi that bought fox, mink, rat and other meat that had not been tested for quality and safety, processed it with additives like gelatin and passed it off as lamb.
The meat was sold to farmers’ markets in Jiangsu province and Shanghai, it said.
Despite years of food scandals — from milk contaminated with an industrial chemical to the use of industrial dyes in eggs — China has been unable to clean up its food supply chain.
The announcement came as China’s top court on Friday issued guidelines calling for harsher punishment for making and selling unsafe food products in the latest response to tainted food scandals that have angered the public.