Tuesday, May 8, 2007


Concerns raised on China’s global health disclosures

‘The international and Hong Kong authorities said Monday that they had received little information from mainland Chinese officials about a mysterious ailment killing pigs in southeastern China or about Chinese wheat gluten contaminated with plastic scrap, raising questions again about whether Beijing is willing to share data on global health issues.

The Chinese government, and particularly the government of Guangdong Province, next to Hong Kong, suffered heavy criticism in 2003 after concealing the SARS virus for the first four months after it first emerged in Foshan, 150 kilometers, or 95 miles, northwest of Hong Kong. After SARS spread to Hong Kong and around the world, top Chinese officials promised to improve disclosure.

But officials in Hong Kong as well as at the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization said Monday that they had received practically no information about the latest pig deaths and limited details about wheat gluten contamination.’

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