Monday, April 09, 2007

And it's now in human food....

Rat poison? From China:

BEIJING, April 10 (Reuters) - One person died and more than 200 fell ill after eating breakfast porridge suspected of containing rat poison at a hospital in China, state media said on Tuesday.

Patients and staff at a traditional Chinese hospital in the northeastern city of Harbin suffered nausea and diarrhoea shortly after eating breakfast at its restaurant on Monday, Xinhua news agency said.

"All the victims ate porridge, and investigators suspected the water had been contaminated by rat poison," Xinhua said.

Du Qingrong, a 77-year-old woman admitted on Friday for cardiovascular disease, died on Monday afternoon.

All other victims were out of danger by Monday afternoon, Xinhua said, citing hospital sources.

The news agency said the hospital, one of Heilongjiang province's largest and best-equipped medical institutions, had been shut down after the incident and food samples taken for testing.


Steve Bates said...

It had occurred to me earlier that perhaps the various China-related poisoning incidents had more than one origin. The pet food toxins pretty clearly came from a common source (something of which I reassured myself recently as I scarfed down a stir-fry into which I had just thrown a can of wheat-gluten Peking "Duck" from China), but it certainly seems possible to me that this incident is separate.

It's even possible that the first incidents were accidental, and the later ones criminal. Or not: hospital-borne illnesses kill lots of very senior patients in many parts of the world. I'm reserving judgment, and meanwhile I'm continuing to eat Chinese wheat gluten products. Hey, if I can survive breathing the air in Houston...

ellroon said...

Sabotage? Easily. Terrorism? Maybe. Who watches piles of wheat in a docking/loading area? Indifference? Sure. Was this an action to show how easily our food supply can be contaminated?

It will be intriguing to watch this to find out who was sabotaging whom: who misused fertilizer /rat poison /chemicals; who thought they'd threaten China's world trade.