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Official denial raises doubts over '40-year-old meat' story

Updated: 2015-07-10 17:37
By Wang Zhaokun (chinadaily.com.cn)
Official denial raises doubts over '40-year-old meat' story

Bad meat is dumped at a landfill in Nanning, capital of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, in March. [Photo/Xinhua]

Chinese Internet users' jaw dropped twice in two weeks due to the same "zombie meat" story as new investigations showed that reports about "long-expired meat in south China which had been frozen for more than 40 years" were possibly made up.

The story, published on Xinhuanet.com two weeks ago, alleged that Customs officials in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous region seized more than 100,000 tons of "zombie meat last month and some of it have been frozen since 1967".

But officials in Guangxi denied that they had ever confiscated such long frozen products or provided such information to any media, according to a report by Food Safety Reference news, which doubted the credibility of the "zombie meat" story.

The news of 40-year-old frozen meat was first reported in 2013 on Xinhuanet.com, in which police in Nanning, capital of Guangxi, were said to have confiscated more than 20 tons of low-quality long-expired chicken feet from a frozen meat warehouse.

However, Nanning police also rejected the report, saying they were not involved in any such operation two years ago, according to Food Safety Reference.

"We had never published such information and were confused how the report came up," a police official said.

Food Safety Reference said that the Xinhuanet.com's report is not believable as it provides neither specific location nor cites any source.

"The ‘zombie meat' news is grafted from an old and baseless story," it concluded.

After doubts were raised about the authenticity of the story, the topic became one of the hottest discussions on Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, with one post about it forwarded more than 6,000 times.

"Is this a series? I'm already expecting part III," one joked.

"This was so disappointing as I was ready to celebrate for having the opportunity to eat meat older than me," another ridiculed.

However, a survey on ifeng.com, a major news portal, showed that most people, or 61 percent, would still choose to believe in food safety news in the future despite the possible ‘zombie meat' made-up story.

Twenty-seven percent others said they were fed up with fake news and would eat whatever they wanted.

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