26 July 2002

Chinese pork investigation

INVESTIGATIONS are underway in Scotland into the illegal distribution of imported tins of pork products made in China.

The Food Standards Agency Scotland has written to local authority environmental health departments warning them to be on the lookout, after tins of pork from the Peoples Republic of China were found in Chinese wholesalers and supermarkets in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Although the FSA says there is no evidence of any risk to animal or public health, the products are being viewed as suspect because there are no premises in China approved to export beef, lamb or pork to the EU.

"Illegal imports are a serious issue and anyone finding evidence of products imported illegally into the UK should report it to their local authority," said an FSA Scotland statement.

The agency is working with local authorities to gather information about the source and extent of the illegally imported products, which include stewed pork ribs, pork luncheon meat, stewed pork leg and spiced pork cubes.

Meat smuggled to the UK from the Far East is believed by many to be the source of last years foot-and-mouth outbreak.

Jim Walker, president of NFU Scotland, was appalled that, a year after the devastation of F&M, the government was still failing to clamp down on illegal imports. &#42