Food is the most basic necessities in the life of people, and food safety comes first. The safety of cooking oil not only directly related to consumers’ interests and people’s health, but also affects the social stability, economic development, government’s credibility and national image of a country. China’s ‘gutter oil’ has occurred frequently in recent years. With successive exposure of illegal “gutter oil” incidents and criminal events of vendors to small, medium-sized, and even some well-known domestic enterprises, the situation of cooking oil safety has become extremely severe. The safety of China’s cooking oil has become a growing concern among the people. How to regulate and good governance of “gutter oil”, preventing it from people’s diet, ensuring the quality of cooking oil and the legal rights of people’s life and health, is an important event to the national economy and people’s livelihood.(souce: CBC News September 03,2012)

 Gutter oil contains a strong carcinogen-aflatoxin, which is 100 times the toxicity of arsenic. Gutter oil is the people in life for all kinds of low-grade oil known. In short, the gutter oil can be divided into several categories: First, the narrow sense of the gutter oil, about the greasy floats in the sewer or hotels, restaurants leftovers, leftovers after a simple processing of refined oil; The second kind of gutter oil is the poor quality of pork, pig offal, pig skin processing and refining the output of oil; The third gutter oil is used for frying oil after the number of times more than the required requirements, and then be reused or add some new oil to re-use the oil. The gutter oil will mainly used in four places (1) chemical industry (production of chemical products); (2) the restaurants, (low-cost purchase); (3) the farm (livestock feed); (4) the factory and the school cafeteria.

 There is no doubt that ‘gutter oil’ incident is caused by the unscrupulous businessmen for the pursuit of personal interests. The researchers said, after purification of gutter oil, it can reach the national level of edible oil standards, but the cost is too high, people cannot achieve. According to the analysis, the price of 1 ton of gutter oil was the 1700-1800 yuan, while the price of 1 ton of rapeseed oil was 7000-8000 yuan. The difference between per kilogram of oil mixed with rapeseed oil and non-adulterated rapeseed oil was 6 yuan. If a small restaurant use oil 5 kg per day, they choose the gutter oil can save 30 yuan. It is not difficult to imagine that if a large restaurant use gutter oil, each month they will “save” a large amount of money.

(source: South China Morning Post)


The harm of ‘gutter oil’:

-Digestion: There are many kinds of toxic waste material, arsenic is one of them, if a certain amount of food, generally, there will be headache, dizziness, fatigue, etc., is a serious impact on gastrointestinal diseases, digestive disorders

-Diarrhea: The general gutter oil are extracted from the sewage channel, but also refining the rotten animal meat and rotten animal offal. So it is not strange that if we have diarrhea.

-Abdominal pain: Gutter oil contains a variety of detergents and chemical cleaning substances, so lead content is surprisingly high in the gutter oil. Those factories do not know how to purify the gutter oil, so if the lead go into the body it will cause abdominal cramps and anemia, even damage the liver function

-Carcinogenic: From the analyzes of the gutter oil, it can be seen that most of the gutter oil are generally derived from the restaurant sewer, which contains aflatoxin and benzopyrene, it will easily cause the cancer, such as colorectal cancer, gastric cancer, kidney cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer.

(source: the UBC Blogs /source: the finance twitter)

Facing the ‘gutter oil’

  1. Gutter oil can turn waste into treasure. From food safety aspect, undoubtedly, gutter oil will cause serious harm to human health. But from the perspective of environmental protection, gutter oil is a good way to recycling and re-use resources. At present, the world is concerned about food safety, environmental protection and other issues, gutter oil recycling itself is also an environmentally friendly behavior, but the key thing is that recycling can not do food into the food chain, but should take other ways to properly re-use. At present, some countries, such as Mexico, already have a mature waste oil recycling technology, waste oil can be recycled into fuel oil, it is waste utilization, and also ease the fuel crisis.

  2. Improper behavior needs to be bound by law. In the market economy, the separation of government and enterprises, the economic main body to self-management, self-financing, the economic body in such a huge market to seek survival and development will inevitably be self-serving profit-seeking behavior. Of course, this is not tolerance and forgiveness of these illegal enterprises will be the price of public safety as the cost of social and social behavior of social responsibility, and furthermore, the moral constraints of the enterprise itself is not placed within the framework of legal constraints, is It is difficult to avoid such as Sanlu milk powder, clenbuterol, gutter oil such food safety problems occur.

  3. Strengthening the effectiveness of government regulation in a timely manner. Local government health supervision and industry and commerce departments should be in control of waste oil back to the table in the process play an important role. The emergence of waste oil has harmed the health and normal life of consumers, government departments at all levels should take timely measures to strengthen control. On the one hand, it is necessary to crack down and regulate the improper interests of enterprises, at the same time make people’s life safety and the normal interests of enterprises get government support and protection; on the other hand, further improve China’s food safety supervision related legal system, improve law enforcement and supervision response of the timeliness.