Beijing Meat Mystery
Here’s a remarkable little story that was originally published this week in China’s Global Times, kindly passed along to me and succinctly summarized by fellow Beijing-based expat Bill Bikales (you can read the original version here):
This wonderful story is about some pork sellers [in Beijing] whose product is unsafe — no details about how or how seriously. The uncle of one of them, who was angry at him for some personal reason, reported this. Not to the police, but to a journalist who rather than writing an expose instead posed as an inspector and extorted 50,000 Yuan with a threat of reporting to the police, and also seized the pork. The next day the pork seller went back to get his pork (why? not hard to guess) but it was gone, because the journalist had already sold the bad pork to the uncle, who had resold it as good meat for a neat profit. The journalist then tried to pull the same trick on another merchant, who had been tipped off by the first, and called the police, who are — one hopes — trying to deal with all the illegal actions in this saga.
On that last note, I noticed the following, rather uninspiring quote in the article from the police:
“We retrieved 20,000 yuan, but the police has no means to check if the meat was unfit or not. Police have informed relevant departments of the matter,” Yang Jingliang, Xicheng [district] police spokesman said.
Ah yes, we have “informed the relevant departments of the matter.” Usually not a phrase that boosts my confidence. Who wants to bet that all the meat in question eventually ended up on the market?