Monthly Archives: September 2012

And now “Gutter Oil” in Antibiotics

There are about 7 billion human beings living on planet Earth and counting.There is a crunch on resources and many live below poverty line.Recycling is encouraged  and the human race as a whole is benefitted because of this recycling process.

But what about recycled cooking oil?!That too recycled from restaurant waste collected from drainage?!

We are familiar with the following types of oil;

Coconut oil,Groundnut oil,Sesame oil,Corn oil,Cottonseed oil,Olive oil or even Soybean oil;

But how does the following list sounds like;

Sewage oil,Drainage oil,Swill oil,Slope oil or Gutter oil…….

If you are still wondering is there an oil called “Gutter Oil”,stop thinking.Because there is and it is used widely in China.The other nomenclatures mentioned above refers to the same type of oil.

Indians are very familiar with “Gutters” and are omnipresent in all parts of our country.We have Gutters full of muddy water and may be traces of engine oil leaked from passing vehicles.But China is famous for “Gutter Oil”!

The Gutter oil is recycled oil from waste discarded by hotels and restaurants in China.There are experienced people who collect this waste and recycle the left over oil and sell it at a fraction of the genuine cooking oil.Even animal waste is used to get the oil contained in it.They use various techniques and filtration is the common one.There are people who even sell this waste and there are people who buy them.The waste is then transported in bicycles to the “Waste oil recycling plants” and get paid for that.

This Gutter oil is used in many “low cost” restaurants in some parts of China.The perpetrators who recycle and sell this oil even claim that they are good for human use!

The Chinese Goverrnment is doing what they can to bring these people to book.Arrests have been made over the years and the public has been warned not to consume this type of oil even if it is cheap.It is believed that the first recycling of the Gutter oil started in 2000.

What has caused “adding fuel to the fire”(or shall we say adding “gutteroil” to the fire!)is the recent report that the famed(at least in China)Gutter oil is used to make antibiotics by pharma companies.

Cefalosporins are a type of anitibiotic used widely to treat various types of infections all over the world by doctors.Normally Soyoil is used in the manufacture of such pills.Now they have found out that Gutter oil is used by some firms to make Cefalosporins.But it is not proved that  by gulping a few pills of these antibiotics causes harm to the human body.

It may not have caused(or reported;nobody can be sure)any harm but one shudders to consume a tablet made out of Gutter oil.Some firms, it seems would do anything to add to their profits.

More thann 100 tons of Gutter oil have been seized from many provinces across China.The price of one ton of Gutter oil is about 900 dollars and for a more “Purified” Gutter oil one has to pay 1500 dollars!One out of ten lower market restaraunts use Gutter oil in China.Wuhan, in the heart of China is the place where most of this recycling takes place.

One hopes the authorities would get the people involved in such recycling and prevent it from human use.

Please click on the links to read more about Gutter oil

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-19462349

http://www.chinasmack.com/2009/pictures/recycled-slop-swill-cooking-oil.html

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