Almost a thousand live chickens filled with mineral powder to increase their weights have been found in China, becoming the latest food scandal in the country.
The chickens were found in Southwest China’s Chongqing municipality during a raid jointly conducted by several local authorities while they were being transported from Guizhou province on early Sunday morning.
When officers stopped two trucks carrying suspected chickens at the toll stations of the Chongqing-Guizhou highway, the officers noticed that the chickens’ craws were abnormally plump and asked the drivers to hand over several of the chickens for testing.
The owners of the livestock confessed to the inspectors that each of the birds had been fed from 300 to 400 grams of barite powder. Barite powder is mostly used to add weight to oil drilling mud, to deflect X-rays in medical science, as a material in the brakes of vehicles and in high-quality paints.
The chickens had been purchased from Zunyi, a city in Guizhou province. The chickens were seized, and the case is under further investigation.