Dead Pig Count Now Past 6000 In Shanghai River But Chinese Officials Insist Water Is Fine For Drinking

China's flagWe previously saw how Chinese environmental officials are struggling to pull dead pigs out of the river in Shanghai while assuring people that the tsunami of dead pigs has no effect on drinking the water. Now the body count is up from 900 to 6000 and some articles suggest the number is more like 9000. Yet, Chinese officials insist that they are unable to locate the source.

The pigs appear to be infected with porcine circovirus, a virus affecting pigs. It seem likely that the pigs were dumped once found to be contaminated. They were first found in the Huangpu River about 40 miles north of Shanghai. Tags on their ears trace them to the city of Jiaxing in Zhejiang province which is known for pig raising. However, Jiaxing city government officials denied responsibility for the dead pigs and said that the tags may only show where they were born.

The government has tried blaming farmers in Jiaxing but this seems more likely the result of a large factory operation. Farmers routinely throw tainted animals in the river and there are reports of the dead animals being pulled from the river and used for food in China.

Source: ABC

58 thoughts on “Dead Pig Count Now Past 6000 In Shanghai River But Chinese Officials Insist Water Is Fine For Drinking”

  1. Bron,

    “. . . arsenic is an example. In a small dose it is beneficial; in a large dose it will kill you.”

    This is true about many things, Bron. It’s the basis of homeopathy, isn’t it?

    “The Air Force is in charge of a large amount of nuclear material, I would think they would want to know as much as they can about its effects on humans.”

    Which is why a study funded by the Air Force Material Command proposing that small doses of radiation is beneficial should be suspect.

    “Is sunlight good for you in low doses? Yes, it is.” . . . “Since there is one example, there must be others.” . . . “can you post some of yours so I can know if you even know what you are talking about?”

    Post some of my what, Bron? I was commenting on an article you linked to — an article which at best seems self-serving to me given the funding.

    You swallow authoritarian tripe while at the same time lambast others when it suits your argument.

    Go ahead and buy your radioactive frying pan, safe in the knowledge that the Air Force Material Command says it’s actully good for you. It would be a shame to waste 14,000 metric tons of otherwise perfectly good metal, wouldn’t it? Just think of all the financial freedom this metal could bring to someone.

    Actually, this is a great business opportunity for you: you could have the 14,000 metric tons shipped to you, melt it down, and resell it. On every package of slag you sell you could affix a label stating your product is approved by the Air Force Material Command and Dr. Calabrese.

    I’m sure Dr. Calabrese would be your first customer.

  2. gbk:

    can you post some of yours so I can know if you even know what you are talking about? If you are going to appeal to your own authority to debunk Calabrese, I think it only fair that I know your academic background and any peer reviewed articles you may have written on biological systems.

    By the way he is a professor at Univ. MA Amherst.

    I think he has been established as an expert in his subject. You, not yet.

  3. gbk:

    I think I can appeal to his authority; here are some of Dr. Calabreses’ papers:

    Calabrese, E.J. (2009). Hormesis: A conversation with a critic. Commentary. Environ. Health Persp., 117.
    Calabrese, V., Cornelius, C., Dinkova-Kostova, A., Mattson, M., and Calabrese, E.J. (2009). Sirtuins, cellular stress response and the hormesis paradigm: A novel target for new therapeutic interventions in neurodegenerative disorders.

    Mattson, M.P., and Calabrese, E.J. (Editors). (2009). Hormesis: A Revolution in Biology, Toxicology and Medicine. Humana Press Inc.

    Calabrese, E.J. (2009). Once marginalized, evidence now supports hormesis as the most fundamental dose response. In: Hormesis: A revolution in biology, toxicology and medicine. M.P. Mattson and E.J. Calabrese, Editors. Humana Press Inc.

    Calabrese, E.J. (2009). Hormesis and risk assessment. In: Hormesis: A revolution in biology, toxicology and medicine. M.P. Mattson and E.J. Calabrese, Editors. Humana Press Inc.

    Calabrese, E.J. (2009). The hormetic pharmacy. In: Hormesis: A revolution in biology, toxicology and medicine. M.P. Mattson and E.J. Calabrese, Editors. Humana Press Inc.

    Calabrese, E.J. (2009). Hormesis in central to toxicology, pharmacology and risk assessment. Hum. Exper. Toxicol.

    Calabrese, E.J. (2009). A Brief History of BELLE: Introduction. Hum. Exper. Toxicol.

    Nascarella, M.A., and Calabrese, E.J. (2009). The relationship between the IC50, toxic threshold, and the magnitude of stimulatory response in biphasic (hormetic) dose-responses. Reg. Toxicol. Pharmacol., 54:229-233.

    Calabrese, E.J. (2009). Hormesis, non-linearity, and risk communication. Hum. Exper. Toxicol., 28:5-6.

    Calabrese, E.J. (2009). Hormesis and ethics: Introduction. Hum. Exper. Toxicol., 27:601-602.

    Calabrese, E.J. (2009). Getting the dose response wrong. Why hormesis became marginalized and the threshold model accepted. Arch. Toxicol., 83:227-247.

    Calabrese, E.J. (2009). The road to linearity: Why linearity at low doses became the basis for carcinogen risk assessment. Arch. Toxicol., 83:203-225

    Calabrese, E.J., and Blain, R.B. (2009). Hormesis and plant biology. Environ. Poll., 157:42-48.

    Calabrese, V., Mancuso, C., Tovato, A., Cornelius, C., Cavallaro, M., Di Rienzo, L., Condorelli, D., De Lorenzo, A., and Calabrese, E.J. (2009). The hormetic role of dietary antioxidants in free radical-related diseases. Curr. Pharmaceutical Design.

    Calabrese, V., Cornelius, C., Dinkova-Kostova, A.T., and Calabrese, E.J. (2009). Vitagenes, cellular stress response and acetylcarnitine: Relevance to hormesis. BioFactors. 35:146-160.

    Calabrese, E.J., and Ricci, P.F. (2009). Hormesis in environmental health. Ency. Environ. Health).

    Nascarella, M.A., Stanek, E.J., Hoffmann, G.R., and Calabrese, E.J. (2009). Quantification of hormesis in anticancer-agent dose-responses. Dose-Response, 7:160-171.

    Calabrese, E.J. (2009). Hormetic Vignette – The dose response: Comparing hormesis and threshold models. In: Fundamentals of Ecotoxicology, Third Edition, Chapter 8, pp.274-281.

  4. gbk:

    I dont know about you but it seems to me arsenic is an example. In a small dose it is beneficial; in a large dose it will kill you.

    Since there is one example, there must be others. Poison is also in the dose.

    The Air Force is in charge of a large amount of nuclear material, I would think they would want to know as much as they can about its effects on humans.

    Is sunlight good for you in low doses? Yes, it is.

  5. Bron,

    Thanks for your one word rebuttal and link. Did you note who funded the study your rebuttal linked to? I doubt it. Your enamoration of authority while claiming to distain the same is tiresome.

    Let’s start with your link — in which you had the graciousness to offer one word of preamble:


    So, a study funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Air Force Material Command should convince me that small doses of radiation and/or, “harmful chemicals,” are actually good for me. And to convince me of this “fact” the author of said study makes observations such as:

    “. . . our cells have developed mechanisms to detoxify harmful chemicals and exposure to radiation—in fact, low doses may even trigger responses that are beneficial . . .”

    Which is it — low doses of harmful chemicals, radiation, or both? Also note the use of the word “may” which brings the results of the author’s study into the hypothetical, or at least unquantifiable.

    The author does not say or otherwise distinguish between chemical or radioactive exposure in this sentence, nor the paper — maybe these subtleties escaped you. The paper’s not well written, actually it’s quite ambiguous in its claims.

    In fact, I’ve never read a peer reviewed paper where the author refers to themself with the proper pronoun, “I.” Yet this author does this many times, in addition to using subservient pronouns such as “our” — which leads me to believe this paper is propaganda.

    Though I’m sure you loved this part of the paper:

    “Even such powerful studies, which were carried out in an acceptable manner and evaluated in extraordinary detail, cannot reliably estimate risks lower than one in 100, let alone one in 1,000,000. But because risks of one in 100 are regarded as being unacceptable to the general public, especially for routine activities, regulatory agencies have found themselves in a position where they have had to adopt the use of the lowest estimated risk, which cannot be checked or verified. This approach clearly is marked by good intentions but paved with a large public cheque book.”

    It’s the last sentence of this quote which I’m sure you agree with — I offered the full paragraph so as to not be accused of being, in your mind, a Marxist/Statist, or possibly a humanist.

    Sleep well, Bron.

  6. Darren, GBK, I agree, bad idea. I recall reading about the BB&B recall. I stopped buying little metal charms and do-dads for bead-craft after I read about that (India exports a significant amount of that stuff and I bought some stuff directly from India) and the heavy metal contamination in paint and enamels from China.

  7. GBK

    That is terrible what the DOE is doing with that. It should not even be considered. 14M pounds of scrap metal is certainly not a huge amount when accounting for the size of the US and the potential to source it from somewhere else fairly easily. They should just deal with it. The created it, they can deal with it.

    I can’t imagine how this could shock the market if people lost confidence in purchasing metal objects due to the radiation fear. If the public believed American sourced metal products could contain higher levels of radiation, they might abandon American products all together. And this is not even taking the more important human health issue.

  8. Darren, Agreed. I went looking for a report regarding soy sauce made with human hair, including medical waste that was shipped to Japan and caused a near breakdown in trade policy between the countries. My search turned up so many hits on various food scandals that I just went for the Wikipedia article. I did run across a 2010 article about soy sauce and vinegar still being made using hair and fur, several years after the original scandal.'s_Republic_of_China

    Elaine’s link though is very pertinent to the story. Factory farming is a big cause of water pollution as possibly groundwater pollution since in most places the runoff is just channeled to open pits where it sits and leaches into the ground or overflows in heavy rains and floods and contaminates surrounding acreage or rivers. We have our own food production failings to clean up too.

  9. And that river flows into an ocean. And the oceans commingle. And Christians Mingle- in the oceans. Oceans Eleven– means eleven brands of chinese pig crap. And then there is a tidal wave only now we have to call a tidal wave a Tsunami. All that floats comes to Frisco. My Gott what is dis Vorld cumin to?

  10. I posted the following articles earlier today on the other “dead pigs in river” post:

    China’s Dead-Hog Scandal Is Gross—But So Are the Hog Feces in US Waterways
    —By Tom Philpott
    | Thu Mar. 14, 2013

    In a river that flows through Shanghai, Chinese officials have pulled 6,000 dead pigs from the water, CNN reported. The situation is undeniably grotesque: “Sanitation workers, clad in masks and plastic suits, have been fishing the bruised pig bodies surfacing in the Huangpu River. The pink, decomposing blobs have wreaked foul odors and alarmed residents.”

    According to CNN, the corpses began turning up in the river after a government crackdown on the selling of meat from diseased pigs. In a bind, farmers sought a riparian solution to the problem of disposing them. Gross.

    China’s pig-dumping scandal must be seen the context of the nation’s rapidly industrializing hog-production system—as this 2011 Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy report shows, national policy is driving a lightning-fast switch from backyard hog production to vast US-style hog factories. (And now poultry production is following suit.)

    But as China reshapes its meat production in our image, we have no standing to feel superior when scandals like the current one in Shanghai’s hinterland erupt. That’s because we don’t do a very good job of protecting our waterways from the hog industry, either. Consider Iowa, which houses around 18 million hogs, making it our most hog-intensive state. All of those hogs concentrated into a relatively small space generate unthinkable amounts of toxic manure. How much? Food & Water Watch weighs in:

    • The nearly 733,000 hogs on factory farms in Plymouth County, Iowa, produce twice as much untreated manure as the sewage from the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area.

    • The more than 857,000 hogs on factory farms in Hardin County, Iowa, produce three times as much untreated manure as the sewage from the greater Atlanta metro area.

    • The more than 1 million hogs on factory farms in Sioux County, Iowa, produce as much untreated manure as the sewage from the Los Angeles and Atlanta metro areas combined.

    And it’s not just hogs that are crammed into the state’s factory farms. According to FWW, Iowa’s vast confinement facilities also house 1.2 million beef cattle, 52.4 million egg-laying hens, 1 million broiler chickens, and 64,500 dairy cows. Altogether, this teeming horde annually churns out “as much untreated manure as the sewage from 471 million people—more than the entire US population.”

    As you might imagine, keeping such titanic amounts of shit out of water is a near futile task. There are occasional spectacular incidents—FWW points to the time in 2008 when spring floods “destroyed at least 3 hog factory farms near Oakville, drowned up to 1,500 hogs and flooded manure from storage pits downstream into waterways throughout eastern Iowa.” And according to the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, a group that fights factory farming in Iowa, there have been more than 800 documented in Iowa since 1995.


    Facts about Pollution from Livestock Farms

    Giant livestock farms, which can house hundreds of thousands of pigs, chickens, or cows, produce vast amounts of manure, often generating the waste equivalent of a small city. A problem of this nature and scale is tough to imagine, and pollution from livestock farms seriously threatens humans, fish and ecosystems. Below are facts and statistics that tell the story.

    Livestock pollution and water pollution

    Huge open-air waste lagoons, often as big as several football fields, are prone to leaks and spills. In 1995 an eight-acre hog-waste lagoon in North Carolina burst, spilling 25 million gallons of manure into the New River. The spill killed about 10 million fish and closed 364,000 acres of coastal wetlands to shellfishing.

    In 2011, an Illinois hog farm spilled 200,000 gallons of manure into a creek, killing over 110,000 fish.

    In 2012, a California dairy left over 50 manure covered cow carcasses rotting around its property and polluting nearby waters.

    When Hurricane Floyd hit North Carolina in 1999, at least five manure lagoons burst and approximately 47 lagoons were completely flooded.

    Runoff of chicken and hog waste from factory farms in Maryland and North Carolina is believed to have contributed to outbreaks of Pfiesteria piscicida, killing millions of fish and causing skin irritation, short-term memory loss and other cognitive problems in local people.

    Nutrients in animal waste cause algal blooms, which use up oxygen in the water, contributing to a “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico where there’s not enough oxygen to support aquatic life. The dead zone fluctuates in size each year, extending a record 8,500 square miles during the summer of 2002 and stretching over 7,700 square miles during the summer of 2010.

    Ammonia, a toxic form of nitrogen released in gas form during waste disposal, can be carried more than 300 miles through the air before being dumped back onto the ground or into the water, where it causes algal blooms and fish kills.

  11. Lottakatz

    I know what you are saying about ingredients being from who knows where, but as far as the full products go I won’t carry in my store any food products or beverages sourced from China. It’s not worth it.

  12. Gene H:

    Mr. Armour was, most assuredly, looking after his own interests.

    The whole thing is interesting. The big meat packers were lobbying government to start inspecting meat because they wanted to export to Europe and Europe wouldnt take it without an inspection stamp. This was done before Sinclair wrote the Jungle.

    The other reason was to drive out smaller meat packers with compliance costs; which sounds reasonable.

    By the way, do you trust Underwriters Laboratory?

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