China is in panic after discovering ‘open secret’ that its cooking oil was transported for years in chemical tanks that had not been cleaned


  • China has been hit by another major food scandal, this time involving frying oil in chemical tanks.

  • State media found that tankers were transporting chemicals and edible oil mixed together without being cleaned first.

  • The revelation sparked a storm of outrage among the Chinese public this week, calling for an investigation.

A new cooking oil scandal has emerged in China, about a decade after the country infamously clamped down on restaurants that reused gutter oil and sewer grease.

The commotion follows a full of research published on July 2 by state-run Beijing News, which found multiple cases of tankers transporting edible cooking oil immediately after delivering chemicals used to process coal into liquid.

The report’s author, Han Futao, found that no part of the tank was cleaned between loads.

Han described a case where a tanker truck in Hebei Province delivered chemicals to Qinhuangdao, only to travel to Sanhe a few days later to be filled with soybean oil.

Several truck drivers told Beijing News that the practice was a widespread cost-cutting measure adopted by companies with thousands of trucks — an “open secret” in the industry, Han wrote.

According to the truck drivers, in some seasons, drivers would first transport industrial wastewater before delivering edible oils.

These chemicals are not classified as flammable or hazardous. Otherwise, Chinese law would require them to be transported in special tanks.

But the report has since sparked outrage on Chinese social media platforms, which have been flooded with viral topics discussing the scandal.

National regulations have been a major target of public anger. They advise oil companies to use only tankers specifically intended for edibles, but the directive is only encouraged and not mandatory.

“Shouldn’t a kerosene can be a kerosene can and a cooking oil can be a cooking oil can? Even if they are cleaned, they are not necessarily that clean,” said one of the most popular comments on Weibo, the Chinese version of X.

The backlash grew even bigger when people started reposting the messages. legal warnings from 2013 on the practice in Hunan Province, showing that it has been in use for more than ten years.

a Local news report 2005 The description of mixing edible oils with “dangerous chemicals” during transportation also went viral.

“They have been caught before, but the problem persists. Is the punishment severe enough?” wrote a blogger.

“19 years ago the media reported that the tanks were mixed with food. Why is this still not resolved?” wrote another.

A few days after the Beijing News report, state media came out with scathing commentary.

“If this is an ‘open secret in the industry,’ where is the health and safety of the public? Where is the dignity and justice of the law?” wrote People’s Daily columnist Zhang Jingshan on Monday evening.

Sinograin, a state agency that oversees China’s grain and oil supplies, a statement published On Saturday it said it had launched an investigation into the “mixed use of tankers”.

But the statement was followed online by calls for a broader investigation involving higher authorities.

“Controlling your own unit is like covering your ears while stealing a bell,” wrote a blogger who asks for an explanation. “This needs the attention of the relevant departments. Food is an important part of people’s livelihood and should not be underestimated!”

Food safety has been a sensitive issue in China for years, due to the many scandals surrounding sewage oil and deadly chemicals in baby formula.

The repeated controversies have contributed to growing distrust in cities of commercially sold food products in supermarkets and grocery stores, sparks a campaign by the central government to promote food security in the country.

Read the original article at Business insider

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