Just as rage over the elaborate horse-meat scandal begins to quiet down a bit, news comes via the New York Times that traders in eastern China have been passing off rat, fox, and mink meat as lamb. 63 traders were arrested for dousing the meat with various pigments and nitrates and selling it for an estimated $1.6 million over the last few years.
It’s the latest in a string of horrifying food frauds that involve adulterating products in illegal and often dangerous ways so they can be sold at market. “We cannot tolerate it any longer. We must punish the criminals severely, or we cannot answer to our people,” said Judge Pei Xianding at a news conference following the rat-meat scandal — China’s Supreme People’s Court is now making an effort to clearly define food-safety crimes and calling for more severe punishments.