Chinese Report Claims Fuel Trucks Used to Transport Cooking Oil

By Jose Resurreccion

Jul 10, 2024 10:28 PM EDT

Chinese Report Claims Fuel Trucks Used to Transport Cooking Oil
This picture taken on November 3, 2015 shows a Chinese worker checking items on a production line at a cooking oil factory in Wuhan, central China's Hubei province.
(Photo : STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Chinese authorities are reviewing an investigative report that alleged the practice of using fuel tankers to carry cooking oil, rocking the country into a major food safety scandal. 

The Associated Press reported that an investigative report from state-backed outlet Beijing News revealed the "open secret" among truck drivers regarding the transportation of soybean oil without cleaning the tanks beforehand. 

The Beijing News investigation followed a tanker and its driver from the northwestern Ningxia region. The tanker carried a type of hydrocarbon, particularly a form of coal, that is converted into liquid fuel. The tanker traveled to northern Tianjin and was then filled with soybean oil.

The report alleged that the tankers carried products from the state-owned corporation China Grain Reserves Group, more commonly known as Sinograin and the China Energy Investment Corporation. 

Liu Shaowei, an expert quoted in the Beijing News story, said that hydrocarbon products contain components that might lead to poisoning. 

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Tanker Scandal Rocks China

Since the investigative report, many in Chinese society have been alarmed by the discovery, with some being reminded of the 2008 controversy involving an infant formula containing the toxic chemical melamine that killed six babies. 

The Chinese State Council said Tuesday (July 9) that it was forming an investigation group with officials from several ministries, including the Food Safety Commission and the Public Safety Bureau. 

State broadcaster CCTV reported that the task group would identify the people behind the matter and be "severly punished according to law."

Sinograin said over the past weekend that it was also conducting its audit after the media revealed the allegations. 

CNN reported that China has been facing a food security and safety issue, which prompted the state machine to condemn such practices rapidly. This is an unusual move for the Chinese Communist Party, which historically censors any deviation from the regime's policies.

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