The government of Central China’s Jiaozuo city sent a team in early September to a subsidiary of Joincare Pharmaceutical Group to investigate allegations that the firm is manufacturing an antibiotic intermediate using reprocessed cooking oil, called “gutter oil,” China Daily reports.
China’s State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) announced that it would investigate the truth of the media reports as well.
“Gutter oil” refers to reprocessed oil made from kitchen waste dredged from gutters behind restaurants. The substance has been the focus of several food safety scandals in China after it was found to be illegally reused by restaurants or bottled for sale.
Chinese media reported in early September that a subsidiary of Joincare Pharmaceutical Group located in Jiaozuo purchased the “gutter oil” and used it to produce the widely used antibiotic intermediate 7-amino cephalosporanic acid, or 7-ACA. The firm is alleged to have blended the oil with soybean oil that is used in the manufacture of 7-ACA.
7-ACA is used as a final intermediate in the production of a number of cephalosporin antibiotics. Joincare produces 25% of total the amount of 7-ACA used in China, according to media reports.
Joincare released a statement on its website refuting the media’s reports and said it was willing to accept the government’s supervision and inspection.[/membership]