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    Chicken Fed Illegal Drugs Sent to Fast Food Chains

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    NTDTelevision

    by NTDTelevision

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    Chicken being fed illegal drugs are being widely distributed around China. Ending up in major fast food chains. That's according to an investigative report by state-run CCTV.

    This chicken farm in China's northeast Shandong Province has been supplying chickens to one of the biggest meat distributors in China, the Liuhe Group. The farm owner says he uses a drug that makes the birds grow faster. Other drugs are added to the mix to keep away infection.

    Reporter:
    "Does the Liuhe Group know you feed chickens with drugs?"

    [Mr. Zhang, Chicken Farmer]:
    "They have never paid attention to it."

    He says the drug makes the animals quickly gain weight. This speeds up the time between birth and slaughter.

    [Mr. Zhang, Chicken Farmer]:
    "The chickens weighing a little more than half a pound may grow to five and a half pounds within 40 days. The chicken's heart is too small to support the extremely great weight."

    He says that because of the rapid weight gain, many of the chickens are often unhealthy and many die prematurely.

    These growth stimulation drugs are illegal. But since the law is not enforced and the Liuhe Group does not perform inspections or quarantine, the chickens easily enter mainstream food supply.

    The chickens are sold to the largest restaurant supplier Yum, which in turn supplies major food chains like KFC and McDonald.

    This is not the first time that Chinese chicken farmers have come under scrutiny. In 2005 China's Ministry of Agriculture was chastised for encouraging chicken farmers to use an avian flu vaccine meant for humans.

    The virus became resistant to the drug and thus was not effective when it spread to people. China's Ministry of Agriculture denied the accusations saying it had never approved the drug to be used in birds.

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