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China’s Ministry of Health announced that they still cannot effectively distinguish “gutter oil” from legitimate cooking oil.Dai Haihua of China’s Ministry of Health told China Daily that their five proposed methods of testing for gutter oil have all been ineffective so far.
Gutter oil is used oil that is recollected, refined, and resold as normal cooking oil, and it has become a growing problem in China.
Nutritionists have warned that repeated consumption of gutter oil can lead to digestive problems and eventually cancer, but China’s government has failed to track it.
Gutter oil can be bought for 3,000 Yuan per tonne ($470), but refined and resold as normal cooking oil for up to 10,000 Yuan per tonne ($1,560) at the retail end.
Over 100 tonnes of illegal oil in 14 different provinces have been shut down already according to the People’s Daily, but the industry is still reportedly growing.
Larger gutter oil companies can reportedly earn as much as 200 million Yuan a year ($331 million). With the Ministry of Health confirming their inability to test for the waste oil, and millions of lower class looking for an easy buck, it’s no surprise that the gutter oil industry is booming.
Feng Ping of the China Meat Research centre told China Daily that “The illegal oil shows no difference in appearance and indicators after refining and purification because the law breakers are skillful at coping with the established standards.”
So far, the only potential solution to the gutter oil problem is establishing a government regulated kitchen waste collecting and recycling program.
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