Chinese are aghast at reports that pharmaceutical companies have been making antibiotics out of cooking oil made from sewage, the cost of clean (and legal) oil having apparently proven an intolerable drain on their profits, whatever its possible effects on the health of their customers.
The oil has reportedly been finding its way into the antibiotics production process because it is cheaper than the massive expense of using regular soy bean oil.
Whether the antibiotics resulting from the more economical sewage production process pose demonstrable health risks is not clear, although the sewage-strained cooking oil is already regarded as being highly contaminated and unfit for human consumption.
Authorities claim they are investigating the extent of the problem, although given their success in stamping out the supposedly illegal cooking oil industry few are likely to be reassured.
Despite it being illegal and the subject of repeated crackdowns and widespread public disgust, such “recycled” oil still remains in common circulation throughout China – with the authorities apparently unable or unwilling to stamp out its manufacture, and Chinese entrepreneurs only too willing to continue the ghastly practice.