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Poppy Opiate Used at Foshan Restaurant to Make Food “Tastier”

Posted: 04/15/2014 7:30 am

If you have found yourself addicted to a specific stewed duck or goose dish at a restaurant in Shishan in Foshan, well, it might actually be addiction.

A restaurant located in Foshan’s Nanhai district was found to have been adding an illegal poppy opiate to their stewed meat dishes since December 2011 in order to make them “tastier”, Yangcheng Evening News reported on April 13.

The restaurant’s unscrupulous act was exposed in late February this year when 10 men from a KTV club were tested positive for morphine in a police check. The initial suspicion was drugs, but one person surnamed Cao insisted he and his friends didn’t use drugs and suspected the dishes they had earlier that evening.

Taking the hint, the police raided the restaurant in question the following day. A thorough check of the kitchen led to the discovery of a brown-colored bottle containing opium, morphine, poppy pods and other illegal additives. According to the report, the “spice” was regularly given to the chef by the restaurant owner. Each day, the special spice was used around 10 times, mainly in stewed duck and goose. Within half a month, a bottle of approximately 100 grams could be consumed, the report said.

On April 11, the restaurant owner and the chef were arrested for using the illegal additives and endangering customers’ health.

Poppy seeds are not uncommon in Guangdong or throughout parts of China. It was traditionally used in dishes until recently banned. In Chongqing, it has been routinely used in hotpot dishes. Some mala tang (麻辣烫) and marinated foods also use poppy seedpods for extra flavors.

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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


Foshan, the most romantic city in China?

Posted: 02/19/2014 9:09 am

Forget about Paris. Start packing for Foshan, the newly minted, most romantic city in China, at least according to Amazon.

The industrial city in central Guangdong province was rated as the most romantic city in China by the online shopping website based on the total number of love-themed books, e-books and CDs sold in China last year, Yangcheng Evening News reported.

Shanghai and Beijing, two traditional fixtures on China’s top 10 most romantic lists, didn’t make the cut.

The result did not prompt much celebration. Instead, netizens greeted the news with sneers and skepticism. Among 26 people interviewed by the newspaper following the release of the results, 21 respondents said it was bukaopu, meaning “unreliable” in English.

Here are some reactions online:

Zhang Zai Huangge (张在欢哥) wrote:

I don’t think buying love related books defines whether a city is romantic or not. Rather it shows a person’s loneliness. Why else would you buy so many love related books online?

Dongguan, the epicenter of the recent crackdown on the sex trade, was ranked third on the list. Some fervent Dongguan supporters protested over several grumpy online posts.

“Foshan is the most romantic city? Dongguan should be the first,” wrote 耿炎Glaube.

Liuan Xiaofeng (柳岸熏风) seconded and wrote “Dongguan indeed is quite romantic.”

A local in Foshan, Mr Zhou, said he can’t understand how Foshan placed first. “Every time I want to go on a date with my girlfriend we don’t know where to go. Instead, we have to travel to Guangzhou for a date. Where exactly is romantic in Foshan?” Zhou asked.

The full list is Foshan, Ningbo, Dongguan, Changsha, Wuxi, Kunming, Chongqing, Chengdu, Shenyang and Dalian.

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Man tries boxing at a Foshan arcade, becomes paraplegic

Posted: 01/14/2014 12:00 pm

A man is unable to speak or move after injuring himself while playing a boxing simulation game at an arcade in Foshan two months ago, Shenzhen Satellite Television reports. The family of A Zhen (alias), 29, owes several hundred thousand yuan in hospital fees and is unlikely to get compensation from the venue itself as there was a written warning on the machine on which he was playing.

It all started when A Zhen went to get his phone fixed, and, feeling bored while waiting, went to a gaming hall. After putting on a glove and playing on a boxing simulator, he hit the target with more force than was appropriate. Three days later, after going to sleep, he woke up unable to move or talk. His family and wife have been at his bedside in hospital feeding him ever since.

Doctors say the force of his punch gave him congenital stenosis of the cervical spinal canal. He received surgery shortly after being hospitalised but has shown no signs of recovery.


2 yr-old in Foshan severely burned by father who was “just educating him”

Posted: 01/10/2014 7:00 am

Foshan made headlines around the world in 2011 when the toddler Wang Yue was run over by two trucks and left for dead by 19 passers-by. Yesterday another horrifying image of the ill-treatment of a child came out of the city.

Xiao Bao, image courtesy of Southern Metropolis Daily

2 year-old Xiao Bao (alias) was taken to hospital last week with severe burns on his head, scars across his face and a 5cm wound on his left arm. His father admitted responsibility for the injuries but said “he was just educating” the boy, Nandu Daily reports.

Xiao Bao’s 7 year-old sister Rong Rong (alias) told doctors that their father often beat her and Xiao Bao, especially while drunk. Police in Shunde are now investigating their father, Mr. Luo.

On January 2, Mr. Luo took the boy to hospital claiming that two days earlier the toddler had suffered burns while being given a bath and the wounds may now be infected. The doctor who treated Xiao Bao doubted this story, claiming that the burns on his head could only be made by boiling water. The doctor also wanted to know why Xiao Bao had so many other injuries.

On Wednesday (Jan.8), a reporter from the paper went to Foshan No. 1 Hospital and spoke to Rong Rong, who was sitting at her brother’s bed side. Rong Rong explained that, after having a row with her father, her mother walked out several months ago.

For over a year now, Mr. Luo has been beating getting drunk and hitting Rong Rong and Xiao Bao, saying they are too naughty. He has even been known to refuse to feed them if they are bad, the family claims. Neither child had eaten meat in months. Rong Rong’s face has traces of a cigarette burn and the father is accused of threatening to disown the children if they tell any strangers about his behaviour.

Mr. Luo tearfully confessed to the paper that he would scold and hit his children. But he claimed he never hit them hard enough to injure them and he only did it to “educate”. He claimed to feel remorse for his actions and also claims to get sleepy rather than violent when he is drunk.

In answer to the accusation that he never fed his children meat, he said there were two reasons. Firstly, he was quite poor, and secondly, the family did not much like meat anyway, they prefer fish.

As well as having a dysfunctional marriage, Luo is also 1000 yuan behind on his rent, according to his landlady. The landlady also says she often hears the children screaming after he has gone home drunk. Once, she knocked on the door after hearing particularly piercing screams. When confronted, Luo asserted that he had just given the child a smacked bottom.

Luo is now under investigation. It ain’t looking good for him.


H7N9 spreading, Guangdong’s 10th case now in critical condition

Posted: 01/9/2014 7:00 am

A new human H7N9 case was reported in Foshan yesterday, raising the total number in Guangdong to 10 since August. Mrs. Cui, 51, who is in a critical condition, bought a live chicken at a market and slaughtered it at home, Xinhua reports.

Twenty-one people who had been in close contact with Cui were put under medical examination but no abnormal conditions were found.

As we told you yesterday, this week saw Guangdong’s first fatal case of the avian flu after a 39 year-old patient in Dongguan suffered multiple organ failure.

There have now been two cases in Shenzhen, two in Foshan, one in Huizhou, two in Dongguan and three in Yangjiang.


Dongguan sees Guangdong’s first H7N9 death

Posted: 01/8/2014 7:00 am

A man in Dongguan who was suffering from the H7N9 avian flu died on Monday night after suffering multiple organ failure. The Guangdong Provincial Health and Family Planning Commission confirmed the news yesterday, a day which also saw Shenzhen confirm another case of the virus, Xinhua reports.

Mr. He, 39, was diagnosed with the disease last month and 53 of his close contacts in Dongguan were put under medical surveillance. After battling the disease for three weeks, He succumbed at 11:20 on Monday night.

Then yesterday, a 31 year-old Shenzhen local was confirmed to have tested positive for the disease. He lives on Jiefang Road in Luohu District and it is not yet known whether he had been exposed to live poultry. The man took ill on Dec. 30 and was taken into Bao’an District People’s Hospital on Jan. 3 where he was given Tamiflu.

Shenzhen City Health Department has reported that he is in a stable condition. Thirty-five of his close contacts were put under medical surveillance but all have so far tested negative for the disease.

Guangdong has now seen 9 cases and 1 death. There have been 2 in Shenzhen, 1 in Foshan, 1 in Huizhou, 2 in Dongguan and 3 in Yangjiang.


Primary school English teacher in Foshan caught beating her students

Posted: 01/1/2014 10:00 am

The dreaded 30cm ruler, image courtesy of Guangzhou Daily

An English teacher at a primary school in Foshan’s Nanhai District has confessed to having a system in which she would hit her Grade 3 students 5 times with a metal ruler every time they made a mistake in English dictation. The teacher claimed that some parents had requested her to use corporal punishment, but has promised to stop after complaints were made, Guangzhou Daily reports.

After receiving complaints from the parents of a boy named A Xiao (alias), Jiafu School in Dali Town disciplined the teacher, Miss Guo. A Xiao could not come in Monday (Dec. 30) because he had been hit ten times by his teacher the previous Friday and blood was drawn from three fingers. His parents say that every time they try to touch the 9 year-old’s palm, he cries out in pain.

It turns out that on the day he sustained the injuries, 40 other students were made to queue up and be punished with him. According to A Xiao’s mother, Mrs. Li, this is not the first time the teacher had wielded her dreaded 30cm ruler on the boy: “She also hit him some time before National Day. When I touched his ear, he would say it hurt, so I just had to give him some ice to rub on it.”

An image of A Xiao’s hand snapped by Guangzhou Daily

A Xiao refused to go to school Monday because there would be another session of English dictation and Miss Guo had allegedly pledged to punish mistakes even more severely.

When confronted by A Xiao’s parents, Miss Guo confessed to whacking the students’ hands with her ruler, but denied that she had ever hit a child around the ear. She justified her actions by saying: “I hope the children can reach a higher level as a result of my approach.”

Guo also claimed that when a child is visibly upset by one of her punishments, she makes an effort to comfort them.

The deputy principal of the school, Mr. Cao, claimed that this was the first time complaints had been made about Guo. He emphasised that corporal punishment is wrong and that the annual appraisal of Guo’s teaching would take this into account. She is also likely to lose her end of year bonus.


Don’t swear, it could get you expelled from a school in Dongguan

Posted: 10/24/2013 7:00 am

The vocational school of the Dongguan Institute of Technology has introduced a new disciplinary system that has seen 21 students expelled in under two months since the beginning of the semester, gdchinanews reports. Most of those expelled were aged 18 or 19.

An aerial view of the campus, courtesy of Google Images

What were their infractions? Some didn’t show up, some were caught littering, and others were busted using foul language, fighting, or in the dorm rooms of the opposite sex. While those might be punishable offences in some schools, DIT has decided to make even relatively small infractions expellable.

Guo Jingyi (alias) describes herself as a well behaved student. However, after staying at a friend’s house on the night of Sept. 23 and failing to return to her dorm during a typhoon, then allegedly allowing a boy to stay in her dorm on the night of Sept. 26 and missing classes during the subsequent probation period, she was expelled.

She cited embarrassment about the prior accusations as reasons not to show up to class. Because there is such a stigma with being expelled, she may have to leave Dongguan to find a school that will accept her.

A representative of the school defended the strict policies, saying it set good guidelines to maintain discipline throughout the rest of the year.

A freshman identified as Xiao Zhao said he was all for discipline and didn’t intend to break the rules, but he lived in fear.

For primary and middle schools in China, it is rare to expel students. But discipline is severely enforced, even for students aged 16 and above. In 2009, as many as 32 girls in Chancheng Experimental High School were suspended and forced to take a course on morals after growing their hair too long.

Dongguan Institute of Technology enrolled 4,000 students this year so strict discipline is necessary to keep order.


Older people finding romance, but face & money still obstacles

Posted: 10/14/2013 3:22 pm

A joint study in Foshan, Dongguan and Shenzhen has found that the number of people of pensionable age finding romance is on the increase. However, due to issues of property and the cultural concept of face, very few are tying the knot, Guangzhou Daily reports.

A report jointly released by a number of matchmaking websites showed that, across the county, 90 million people aged 54-63 have sought romance online in recent years, with loneliness cited as the main reason. So far, 38.2% of men and 29.7% of women have found someone.

However, the legal headache that would arise from the burgeoning societal concept of the prenuptial agreement and the face issues that rewriting the will would undoubtedly cause are among the reasons for older couples refraining from getting married.

226 people over 50 married at the registry office located on Guicheng Street in Foshan’s Nanhai District last year. Across the county, 11,000 people of that age group got hitched, accounting for 2.05% of all marriages. The rate has increased to 2.2% so far this year.

Mr. Wu, 67, who lives in Jinshazhou, was widowed ten years ago. At that time, his two daughters were very keen to introduce him to a new partner. Two years later, he met Ms. Liao while dancing in a public square late at night.

With the encouragement of both families, Wu overcame his apprehensions to marry Liao, in spite of the chatter that no doubt went on behind their backs. The couple has gone on to become one of the success stories, having signed an agreement between themselves about the bequeathment of property: “The only pressure we have comes from outside, in our own hearts we are rounded and happy,” Wu told the paper.

More common than Mr. Wu’s and Ms. Liao’s approach is that of cohabiting without getting married. According to Dongguan’s Centre for Marriage Registration, the vast majority of couples who remarry are aged between 30 and 50.

The main thing holding back lovestruck old couples from doing this is “face,” which the scholar Lin Yutang described as being that which “cannot be translated or defined.”

Even though nationally respected psychologist Liu Jun is convinced that being in love is good for the over-50s, there is a stigma attached to couples enjoying romance at that age.

In the Pearl River Delta, where many people are far away from their families, everybody needs to have some connection with their past. Failing that, they need somebody to endure the confusing modern world with.

This report was published on the Double Ninth Festival, about which the following Wang Wei poem was published:

As an alone guest in a strange place,
I get double homesick on the festival day.
I can imagine from far away
that my brother is stepping on some high hill
to collect the dogwood as apotropaion
all of the family members are sticking it
everywhere and everyone,
then they just find
there is no me among them…

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