China initiative to curb illegal use of waste vegetable oil

By Erin Voegele | December 13, 2011

A crackdown in China aimed at eliminating the illegal practice of using waste cooking oil to produce food products could increase the amount of the waste material available for biodiesel producers. On Dec. 12, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security published on its website a statement about its initiative. According to that statement, the crackdown has been going on for several months, with approximately 60 of these operations identified to date.

According to the statement, some of these oils are now being used as feedstock in the production of biodiesel and animal feed, and that the costs of these waste materials have been reduced. The statement also notes that as a result some grain and vegetable oil companies have been able to increase product sales and achieve market expansion.

While the effort has been highly successful, the statement also points out that it will be important for China to remain vigilant to prevent the future illegal use of waste vegetable oil. The ministry also points out that the Food Safety Commission will actively continue to work to plug loopholes that allow the illegal practice of manufacturing food products from waste grease to occur.

It also seems that companies posing as biodiesel producers have engaged in these illegal practices. According to the statement, one company was found to have sold more than 1,600 tons of waste oil illegally into the food market. Overall, the statement notes that 128 criminal cases are being pursued in which more than 700 arrests have been made. The ministry also verifies that 6 million tons of waste oils have been involved in these cases. 


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