Here at Inhabitat, we’re all for recycling. We’re even for recycling sewage sludge, which Korean scientists were recently able to turn into biofuel. However, we draw the line at food waste being used in the production of medicine. Unfortunately it seems that is what has happened in China, where government officials recently told pharmaceutical firms to check their suppliers after claims that some used “gutter oil” to make antibiotics.

gutter oil, china, pharmceutical firms, antibiotics, food scandal, food contamination, drug manufacture, recycling, biofuel

According to Chinese state new reports, certain pharmaceutical suppliers have been cutting corners by using cheap gutter oil instead of more expensive soy bean oil in the production of antibiotics. Gutter oil is collected via reprocessed kitchen waste dredged from restaurant drains.

In the latest of several food scandals in China, the government said it will be investigating the matter and that it would declare its findings soon. The scandal is already causing alarm throughout China, and gutter oil was involved in another scandal in April when officials discovered underground workshops producing the material from decomposing animal fat and organs.

This oil was being sold to oil manufacturers for food production and making hotpot soup in restaurants. Despite 32 arrests and over 100 tons of the oil being seized, it seems that gutter oil is still making the headlines.

Via BBC News/In-PharmTechnologists

Images: Edmund Garman and michaelll