Chinese Cooking Oil “Made from Sewage”

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The news that a tenth of all cooking oil used in China may be made from recycled sewage and laced with toxic contaminants has stunned China.

Originating from a report on a state radio station, the news that “Chinese are eating 3,000,000 tons of ‘recycled cooking oil’ each year, but it is 100 times more toxic than arsenic!” spread throughout China in a matter of days.

The cooking oil is apparently “recycled” from raw sewage taken from sewers and elsewhere, which is heated and filtered. After filtration the liquid is transparent and free of particulate matter, and can be rendered into cooking oil.

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Fears over the toxicity of the recycled oil are high. Significant levels of aflatoxins have been detected, a poison said to be “100 times more toxic than arsenic,” and known to cause growth defects in children and cancer.

Viral and bacterial contaminants are thought not to be a problem, assuming the sewage-oil is properly boiled in preparation.

Despite the obvious hygiene and safety problems of using treated sewage in cooking, its usage is thought to be widespread, as the “recycled” cooking oil is all but indistinguishable from normal cooking oil, in all but one aspect – its price.

It costs only 300 yuan ($45) a ton to manufacture, half the price of regular oil, and it is said to be common use throughout China – estimates are that it constitutes a tenth of all cooking oil used in China.

Chinese food safety regulators, such as they are, launched an immediate emergency investigation, although it is not clear if they actually previously approved the activity.

China’s record on food safety is of course already utterly abysmal, but if as widespread as reported this could turn out to be the most damaging scandal to date, as cooking oil is an integral part of food preparation in China.

Nations importing cheap cooked foodstuffs from China may also be concerned that they have been inadvertently poisoning their children by trading with a nation in which regulation and business ethics are all but unknown.

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    392 Comments
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    Comment by Anonymous
    00:48 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Why the fuck does China do these things?

    Seriously. Who looks at cooking oil and says "Hey, this would be cheaper to make if we used Treated Sewage instead of normal ingredients? This takes a step beyond "Bad Business Ethics" and into "Cartoonish Supervillainy".

    So I guess the only thing one can say about this is, well, buy your ingredients at a premium, and don't eat at the cheapest fry-stands around.

    Also: "Mmmmm, e-coli!"

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:15 24/03/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Consider this... One bowl of rice feeds one person in US, while the same bowl is shared with seven people in China.

    As China is embracing capitalism, the gaps between lower class and upper class starts to widen. Higher demands from the rich, plus food shortages equals high prices for simple good. The poor have to come up with ways, however crude, to get the same products.

    It's not China as a whole that's doing this. That's why the officials are shutting it down.

    Comment by Anonymous

    because it's not sewage. it's re-used oil, essentially.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:03 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Bullcrap. Allow me to put it to you simply: would YOU eat cooking oil that was made like this? Hell no, you wouldn't!

    Now, cooking oil that DIDN'T go into the sewer? Okay, I can deal with recycling that, after the MULTIPLE filterings that are done on it in the United States, it is reusable!

    HOWEVER, not when it went in the fucking sewer!

    Avatar of Imyou
    Comment by Imyou
    01:33 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    There are very few sources on this, but there are multiple, and some precedent from a few years ago too...

    http://www.worldwatch.org/node/4656
    http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/PEK229836.htm
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9403E2D71F3EF936A35751C1A9609C8B63&n=Top%2FNews%2FWorld%2FCountries%20and%20Territories%2FChina [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9403E2D71F3EF936A35751C1A9609C8B63&n=Top/News/World/Countries and Territories/China]
    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2009-11/17/content_8986419.htm
    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2010-03/18/content_9610919.htm
    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2010-03/19/content_9611395.htm
    http://www.chinahush.com/2010/03/18/restaurant-head-chef-talks-about-drainage-oil-in-china/

    Avatar of Tex_Arcana
    Comment by Tex_Arcana
    01:13 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    So let me get this straight.

    It costs half the price of competitive cooking oil.
    It's estimated that 10% of China uses it.

    Would someone care to point out the glaring flaw in that logic?
    Anyone? At all? Bueller?

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:41 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    これこそ"和谐" 哀れだな

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:02 14/09/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    You must be a fucking "dirty and immoral" red chinese

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:04 10/01/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    That was japanese

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:08 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    春哥在此,这就是和谐。。。你丫董B啊?

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:52 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Awwwwwwww sick!

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:08 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Those who said you would never eat another "made in China" product, chances are you may die from starvation quicker than food poisoning.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:12 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    They'll just shell out more money for the non-MiC food, plenty from elsewhere. Obesity maybe but they won't starve.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:59 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well it certainly reminds me once again than the less I know the less sick I get by going in a store...

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:46 19/01/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    I never took the statement "eat sh*t and die" seriously until just right now.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:54 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Significant levels of aflatoxins have been detected, a poison said to be “100 times more toxic than arsenic,” and known to cause growth defects in children and cancer."

    That poor cancer...its going to grow with a defect. :)

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:04 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    i am totally speechless, currently working in china, and eating all kinds of food here, very cheap food...

    i think that is really a food for thought -____-;;

    good thing i didnt get sick but i want to know the health risks.

    i already know the air over here is really bad and i have cough problem on initial few months, it is better now, but i want to know the long term health implications

    Comment by Pyrolight
    02:51 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    China keep topping themselves in ingenuity, good for them. Excuse while I go burn anything made in China.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:39 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    This news is about Chinese government find and destory the undocumented oil factory.
    This factory is not registered with Chinese government, so they dare use this things to make oil.
    Not all factories are like is.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:05 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well, *theoretically*, it should not be a problem in terms of biological contaminants, as they -- according to the story -- use high heat in the process, which should kill off anything nasty.

    The biological problem I see is re-contamination by little droplets which spattered up and didn't get the full high-heat treatment.

    The BIGGEST problem I see is that Chinese manufacturing companies will be dumping all sorts of toxic chemical contaminants into the sewer system, and the "high-heat" process does NOTHING to remove them.

    "Don't worry about that hexavalent chromium, we used a paper towel to filter it out..."

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:37 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    so what else is new?

    typically China standard level of products.

    1 word of advice?
    never buy anything "made in china".

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:36 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    just try and find anything of common use thats not made in china
    gl

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:50 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    SHH!! Keep this quiet because you would not want to give our lil communists, Obama and his croonies, any ideas :P.

    Avatar of Tex_Arcana
    Comment by Tex_Arcana
    06:04 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Because the government is heavily involved in selling cooking oil, right?

    ...Brilliant.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:34 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I wonder if cooking on depleted uranium is healthier?

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:57 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    it's china after all

    Avatar of screwlicious
    Comment by screwlicious
    03:58 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Aaaah..good thing I'm NOT in China.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:29 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I see where does Anti-Soda campaign get those grease from.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:59 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    It took me a moment to process what sewage actually meant...grosss!!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:05 19/01/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    And it took me a moment to actually process sewage, and now its yummy cooking oil yaaay!

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:13 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    No wonder chinese food has such a unique taste

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:44 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    they should add a fine print :

    May contain traces of Nuts, Crustaceans, Soy, Milk, Shit, etc.

    Comment by Char
    15:28 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Don't forget the cadmium,mercury,lead,dioxin,and phenol compounds.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:27 21/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    they aren't humans anyway
    those damn Chinks have involved into something else

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:19 16/11/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I must agree. As a chinese-american I am woefully disappointed in your xenophobia. I should mock you for botching your own language. 'involved into something else'

    Comment by Anonymous

    racist bastard go fuck yourself

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:57 21/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Comparable to Singapore using recycled water?
    Its called New Water btw

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:07 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    have you seem the recycle plant and the technology use for New water?

    Idea is the same, application of how it is done is different.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:33 21/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Remember the cardboard rice cakes? They had no rice just cardboard. All the stuff prior and since I don't think I even want any more pets since they all died of 'something' abnormal and strange for conditions. I am all wracked up too like my kidneys are hard from something. The only thing I can see that China can do worse than it has been is using the cook book from the movie about aliens "to cook Man" or whatever the name was. Next thing we will see is, south asian, north asian, russian, american, latin american, on cannabilistic food processed and served by China. It can't get any worse.. can it?

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:54 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    the cardboard thing was a hoax, dumbass, and this isn't sewage- it's waste oil.

    if you could make viable oil out of sewage for that cheap it'd be burned as fuel, dumbass.

    Avatar of maboroshinoginji
    Comment by maboroshinoginji
    20:03 21/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I wonder why are those policemen handling what should be considered as hazardous materials, with bare hands, not even with simple gloves or safety glasses...

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:01 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Sometimes things aren't considered as hazardous as it is. Such as garbage collectors wear gloves to collect garbage, shouldn't you also wear gloves when you dump yours?

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:12 21/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    China - what can't they come up with next?

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:26 21/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I guess most of you must be too young to remember the aflatoxin scandal back in 2001 when it was found that many brands of US peanut butter contained aflatoxins at well over the permitted levels. All peanut butter contains aflatoxins to some degree or other, it's pretty much unavoidable. The thing is though, are aflatoxins really as bad as people say? The science linking them with liver cancer is still a bit inconclusive, and has only been definitively established in the case of people already suffering from hepatitis B.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:46 21/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    who cares about some random substance with some random scientific name.

    These guys are making people eat the oily fucking parts of TURDS!

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:15 21/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I know this may seem a little shallow but this discourages me from buying Chinese food products from the store, i used to buy Chinese cooking oil ans even if the brand i buy does not use raw sewage, i am not buying it anymore from here on out.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:06 21/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Just read this on wiki about aflatoxins;

    "... humans have an extraordinarily high tolerance for aflatoxin exposure and rarely succumb to acute aflatoxicosis."

    That's why they got away with it for so long...

    On another note, I'm going to be sick. My diet is (was) primarily imported Chinese food, and now I read this...

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:07 21/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    holyfuk!~ thats disgusting....
    i'll
    never
    ever
    and
    forever
    buy
    another
    "made in china"
    food
    product
    again!

    my response to those involved with-
    the manufacturing of this poison
    fuk u *casts Lv146 Chaos attack!*

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:16 21/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    China is a fucked up place. I still get nightmares over the girl with the growing stomach tumor.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:38 21/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Unfortunately it's not "only in China", there are similar stories from all over the world where stuff ranging from extremely disgusting to outright toxic have been used in production of human consumables.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:03 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    And in other parts of the world, where it found out that happened, the people who did that are put into prison for a good long time!

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:09 22/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well, in China they're also put in prison, just that there are too many people to replace them. On the bright side, their death penalty, when used, takes care of some people permanently.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:25 23/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well, in China someone will be keeled ded for this. There will be others, though.











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