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Dairy farmers in Foshan feeding cows oxytocin

Posted: 03/28/2014 2:00 pm

A self-claimed vet injects oxytocin into a cow at the farm.

Recently, we told you about the industrial salt being passed off as table salt throughout Guangdong. The most recent staple to watch for however, is your milk.

About 300 kilograms of cow milk injected with oxytocin may have been sold to Shunde, Guangzhou and other cities in Guangdong Province, New Express Daily reported on March 27.

An unlicensed dairy farm in Gaoming district in Foshan has been using the hormone on cows to increase the amount of milk extracted. The drug, often used on women to induce labour, is injected into cows to induce muscle contraction around the cows’ nipples, causing milk ejection out of the glands and milk ducts.

A self-professed vet working on the farm told the newspaper’s undercover reporter that they typically use the drug on the cows twice a day to help extract milk. When injected with the drug, cows are often able to produce milk in as little as 15 minutes, said the vet.

When asked by the reporter about the appropriate dosage used, the vet said: “We are quite familiar with what quantity to use. After all, when you use too much, it’s simply a waste of the drug.”

A woman working on the farm told the undercover reporter that about 200 kilos of milk extracted in the morning would be sold to Shunde, and 100 kilos produced in the afternoon would be distributed to Guangzhou. They also supply some milk tea shops (奶茶店), she said.

The potential health consequences of consuming the contaminated milk were not specified in the story, but according to a report by the Indian newspaper, Economic Times, sustained consumption of oxytocin can cause a hormonal imbalance in humans and may harm the reproductive system of animals, thus reducing their life span.

An article by Care2, a US social web portal for green issues, said a substantial part of the oxytocin injected into cows can seep into milk, and children are particularly susceptible to its harmful effects. Side effects include: imbalanced hearing, reduced vision, and lethargy.

Besides oxytocin, the reporter at the farm witnessed the use of antibiotics, vitamins, Chinese herbal medicines and penicillin.

Home page and content photo credit: New Express Daily


26 tons of inedible “fake” salt seized in Guangzhou

Posted: 03/18/2014 9:27 am

Easy on the salt, not just for the sake of your blood pressure! These days in Guangzhou who knows what “salt” you are sprinkling on your food.

Nanfang Metropolis Daily reported that about 26 tons of fake salt, mainly industrial salt, was uncovered in Guangzhou in the first half of the month, according to figures released by the provincial salt industry group on March 15, China’s consumer day.

Industrial salt, which contains excessive levels of metals, are not safe for human consumption. Some industrial salt that contains sodium nitrite can sometimes result in deaths. The confiscated salt has been circulated in Baiyun, Huadu, Zengcheng and other overlaying regions between city and countryside, the report said. The salt was smuggled from central Jiangxi Province, and stocked in several warehouses in places such as Baiyun before being distributed in Guangzhou.

An executive from the provincial salt group said 96% of the 650,000 tons of salt consumed annually in the city was safe. But still, you don’t want to be the one buying the remaining 4%, if the numbers are reliable.

Here is a trick identified by the newspaper to tell if the Yuepai salt (粤牌盐) is table salt or not: fake salt often has folds around the edges, while real salt doesn’t. Here is a comparison of edible Yuepai salt and the bogus one (top). Courtesy of Orange Net:

Home page and content photo credit: Nanfang Metropolis Daily 


Think twice before swimming: billions of tons of raw sewage dumped into Pearl River Delta

Posted: 07/19/2012 11:23 am

Guangzhou has made a big deal of how clean the Pearl River has apparently become, with swims each year to showcase how safe the water is (we’ll ignore the fact that a man died last year swimming across the mighty Pearl).

Now we’re getting news that the river isn’t as clean as some would like to think.  Bloomberg recently reported that 9.5 billion tons of raw sewage, or 75% of the province’s total, was dumped untreated into Guangdong rivers last year, with over half that amount poured into the Pearl River.

Needless to say, gross.  Bloomberg reports:

The report said that 30 percent of rivers in eastern Guangdong are polluted, threatening the health of people who live along their banks. Guangdong, with a population of 104 million people, has China’s largest economy and is one of the world’s biggest manufacturing centers.


This has a big impact on Hong Kong and Macau as well, which both sit in the Pearl River estuary.

While local politicians make a big stink about cleaning up the environment, it’s apparent that there’s a long way to go.

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